The exact number of the hostages were still not known. The government's National Disaster Operation Centre said no communication could be established with the hostages. It said the upper levels of the mall had been secured.
Seventeen hours went by even as the gunmen battled the security men
Seventeen hours had lapsed since the attack began and yet the security operations looked far from over.
Rebels of Al Shabaab, linked to the al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack. Thirty-nine people were killed while 150 were injured in the attack, the president of the country, Uhuru Kenyatta, had confirmed. Two Indians, including a child, were among the attack.
President Kenyatta said the perpetrators will be brought to justice.