Thick smoke poured from the besieged Nairobi mall where Kenyan officials said their forces were closing in on Islamists holding hostages on Monday, the third day since Somalia's al Shabaab launched a raid that has killed at least 62 people.
It remained unclear how many gunmen and hostages were still cornered in the Westgate shopping centre, after a series of loud explosions and gunfire were followed by black smoke billowing from one part of the complex.
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Following a pattern of the past three days, bursts of gunfire and activity have been followed by long lulls.
Kenyan Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku told a news conference that militants had set fire to mattresses in a supermarket on the mall's lower floors. His ministry later said the blaze was under control.
Ole Lenku said two attackers were killed on Monday, taking the total of dead militants so far to three, and added that none of the raiders was female although some had dressed as women. However, a security source and two soldiers said one white woman attacker had been killed.
President Uhuru Kenyatta dismissed on Sunday a demand that he pull Kenyan forces out of neighbouring Somalia.
Kenyatta, who lost one of his own nephews in Saturday's bloodbath, said he would not relent in a "war on terror" in Somalia, where Kenyan troops have pushed al Shabaab onto the defensive over the past two years as part of an African...

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