Shabab: 137 hostages buried in Kenya mall rubble

Associated Press
Relatives of Johnny Mutinda Musango, 48, weep after identifying his body at the city morgue in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday Sept. 24 2013. Musango was one of the victims of the Westgate Mall hostage siege. Kenyan security forces were still combing the Mall on the fourth day of the siege by al-Qaida-linked terrorists. (AP Photo/ Jerome Delay)
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NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The militant group behind the four-day takeover of a Nairobi mall claim Kenyan government forces used explosives in carrying out "a demolition" of the building, burying 137 hostages.

In a Tweet Wednesday from an account believed to be genuine, al-Shabab also claimed that "having failed to defeat the mujahideen inside the mall, the Kenyan govt disseminated chemical gases to end the siege."

Government spokesman Manoah Esipisu immediately denied the claim, saying that no chemical weapons were used and that the official civilian death toll remains 61. He says three floors of the building collapsed after a fire started by the al-Shabab attackers caused structural weakness.

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