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Many hostages said to be rescued in Kenya shopping mall attack

Many hostages said to be rescued in Kenya shopping mall attack
Kenyan police stand guard near Westgate mall in Nairobi on Sunday. (Carl De Souza / AFP/Getty Images)

NAIROBI -- Kenyan security forces have rescued most of the hostages held by militants in a Nairobi shopping mall after a terror attack, a military official said late Sunday.

The Kenyan military spokesman said on Twitter that by 11 p.m., "Most of the hostages have been rescued and security forces have taken control of most parts of the building."

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By late Sunday, the death toll in Saturday's attack on shoppers and workers in the upscale mall had risen to 68, including many children, and 175 wounded, according to the Kenya Red Cross Society.

The society said earlier Sunday that 49 people remained missing, some of them presumed held hostage by members of the Somalian militant group the Shabab, which has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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Kenyan officials said on Twitter that four Kenyan soldiers had been wounded rescuing the hostages.

"All efforts are underway to bring this matter to a speedy conclusion," the military spokesman said.

As night wore on there was no sound of gunfire, despite the official reports that the final push to dislodge the gunmen had begun.

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Special correspondent Soi reported from Nairobi and Times staff writer Dixon from Johannesburg, South Africa.

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