NAIROBI - Kenya vowed Friday not to bow to Shebab threats of more attacks if troops are not pulled out of Somalia, following a devastating mall attack in Nairobi by the Al-Qaeda-linked insurgents.
"We went to Somalia because Al-Shebab was a threat to national security... We will continue to take action on that front until our security and interests in the country are protected," Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku told reporters.
Somalia's Shebab chief Ahmed Abdi Godane said the Nairobi Westgate mall carnage in which at least 67 people were killed would be followed by "more bloodshed" unless Kenya left Somalia.
Kenya invaded southern Somalia to attack Shebab bases two years ago, and later joined the 17,700-strong African Union force deployed in the country.
Funerals continued Friday for the victims on the third and final day of official mourning, with President Uhuru Kenyatta attending the service of his slain nephew.
As well as scores of Kenyans, many of the dead were foreigners, including from Britain, Canada, China, France, the Netherlands, India, South Africa and South Korea.
But dozens more are unaccounted for, with 59 people still listed by the Red Cross as missing after the attack, one of the worst in Kenya's history.
Since the unprecedented 80-hour siege ended late Tuesday, the Shebab have claimed responsibility for an attack Thursday on a police compound on the border with Somalia, killing two officers.
Attacks are common in Kenya's northeastern border with Somalia, with regular grenade blasts or shooting ever since Kenyan troops crossed into southern Somalia two years ago.
A handout picture released by the Kenyan presidency shows destroyed cars at the Westgate mall. CREDIT/AFP
Close to 200 people were wounded in the four-day mall carnage in one of Nairobi's largest shopping centres, which was popular among wealthy Kenyans, diplomats, UN workers and other expatriates.
Police continued to scour the fire-blackened rubble in Westgate for bodies and clues, with Lenku insisting that contents of smashed shops would be protected from looters.
Kenya's parliamentary defence committee meanwhile ordered army, security and intelligence chiefs to answer questions about the handling of the siege next week.
Army fired bazooka rockets
Police have pleaded for patience as Kenyan and international teams -- including from Britain, the United States, Israel, Germany, Canada and Interpol -- painstakingly examine the mall.
With around a third of the building collapsed -- as though hit by an earthquake -- and with the risk of booby traps amongst the mangled wreckage, the work of international forensic and security experts will take days to complete.
Several members of the Kenyan forces involved in battle inside the mall said that the fire broke out Monday after Kenyans fired at least two bazooka anti-tank rockets at the gunmen, who were holed up in the strong room of a supermarket.
Top Interpol official Jean-Michel Louting, speaking near the mall, told AFP the challenge for investigators was to try "to remove the three levels that collapsed and see what is underneath".
A woman who had been held hostage is carried in shock by rescue personnel on September 21, 2013, after she was freed following a security operation. PHOTO/AFP
Interpol issued an international arrest notice at Kenya's request for 29-year-old Samantha Lewthwaite, dubbed the 'White Widow', a reference to her marriage to one of the suicide bombers who killed 52 people in London's July 2005 terror attacks.
Nairobi accuses her of alleged links to the Shebab and the possession of explosives in a 2011 plot, and there has been widespread media speculation over her possible role in Nairobi's deadly siege, despite no concrete evidence so far.
Five suspected attackers were killed in the mall and eight other people detained, officials said. Three others have since been released without charge.
Kenya further sought to shrug off the threats with the government issuing a defiant statement to say plans to raise close to $1.5 billion (1.1 billion euros) in a debut international bond issue were unaffected.
"The Kenyan economy, just like the spirit of our people, is unshaken by the recent tragedy," Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich said in a statement.
Still the country remains traumatised.
Somalis living in Kenya are terrified of retaliatory attacks, against the half a million refugees as well as members of the native ethnic Somali community.
Human Rights Watch said Friday that after far smaller attacks in the past, police responded with "widespread abuses against the Somali Kenyan and Somali refugee communities", calling on the authorities to protect them from any retaliation.