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PRETORIA, September 24 (Itar-Tass) - Six terrorists were killed at the shopping mall Westgate in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on Tuesday, the Kenyan television reported.
The Kenyan security forces have killed six attackers, the country’s television said.
The country’s authorities have earlier stated that three attackers were killed. According to preliminary reports, a terrorist group of 10 to 15 gunmen, including Muslim citizens from the United States and Great Britain, has captured the shopping mall.
A mopping-up operation of all five stories of the building was launched on Tuesday morning, the Kenyan Interior Ministry reported. The ministry believes that all hostages were already freed.
Kenyan authorities confirm that victims of the terror attack became citizens of Australia, the UK, Ghana, India, Canada, China, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, the US, France and South Africa.
British media reports that among the leaders of the terrorist group was a white British female, Samantha Lewthwaite. Additionally, the reports say that among the terrorists that took hostages in Nairobi’s trade center were another two British citizens from London – a 23-year-old Liban Adam and a 24-year-old Nasir Shirdun.
Kenyan servicemen say a white woman in a veil was shouting out commands to the militants in Arabic during the assault on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi.
Samantha Lewthwaite is the widow of Jermaine Lindsey – a suicide terrorist that detonated a bomb in the underground between Kings Cross and Russel Square stations in a series of terrorist attacks in London July 7, 2005. As a result of this attack, apart from Lindsay himself died 26 people.
29-year-old Samantha Lewthwaite was born to a family of a British military officer. According to some reports, she is English; other reports say she comes from Northern Ireland. At the age of 17, Samantha met Jermaine Lindsay on the internet and married him after three years. After the terrorist attacks of July 7, 2005, Samantha told the police she was not aware of the terrorist activity of her husband and didn’t share his extremist views.
However, according to media reports, in 2007 Samantha Lewthwaite along with her three children allegedly left for Africa and joined the Ash-Shabaab militant group. Since then she takes part in the activities of this group, moving between Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania.
In February, 2012, Kenyan police put Lewthwaite on the wanted list, when a South African passport with her photograph, but with a different name was found in a safehouse of the terrorists.
Employees of Kenyan, British and American secret services, as well as British press call Lewthwaite “the White Widow”. According to some reports, she is one of the main cash keepers of As-Shabaab and controls funds raised for terrorist activities. She reportedly prepares female suicide bombers in a camp in Somalia.
Victims of the attack
The number of British citizens killed in the attack in the shopping mall has increased from four to six people, as reported late on Monday, September 23, by UK's Minister of Defense Philip Hammond.
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kenya, in the terrorist attack 62 people were killed. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Islamists from the Somalian Al-Shabab (Ash-Shabaab) militant group that says it was a revenge for the participation of Kenyan troops in combat operations against militants in Somalia.