NAIROBI - A well-organised "terror gang" is believed to be behind an armed assault on a Nairobi shopping mall, senior police sources told AFPt.
"This cannot be a normal robbery because all the survivors are saying how the group confronted them and opened fire," a senior police official told AFP on condition he not be named.
"We have reports there were up to 10 or so attackers and they appeared to be wearing a similar outfit, and others covered their faces," another police official said. "The pattern of the attack and the way they were speaking to their targets clearly point to a well-planned attack by a terror gang."
An unknown number of hostages are still being held by Islamist gunmen who are locked in a stand-off with security forces inside Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall, the Kenyan government said early Sunday.
"Hostage numbers still unknown, but they are in several locations. No communication as yet. Upper levels (of the mall) have been secured," the government's National Disaster Operation Centre said in a situation update posted on Twitter.
An AFP correspondent at the scene said operations by security forces were continuing, 17 hours after the attack began and as dawn approached in the Kenyan capital.
Somalia's Al Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels have claimed responsibility for the attack, which Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said had left 39 dead and 150 more wounded.
"The work is continuing, but you cannot rush these things," an army officer posted on the perimeter cordon said.
"Our teams are there, we are watching and monitoring, we will finish this as soon as we can."
Statement by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta by State House Kenya