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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

NAIROBI (AFP) – Kenyan security forces are close to ending a Nairobi shopping mall siege, Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said Monday, with Islamist attackers still fighting but left with no way out of the complex.

“We think the operation will come to an end soon,” Lenku told a press conference. “We are in control of all the floors, the terrorists are running and hiding in some stores… there is no room for escape.”

At least two of the gunmen were killed in the assault Monday morning and “several injured,” Lenku added.

Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab insurgents have claimed the attack, which began on Saturday, but Kenyan army chief Julius Karangi said the gunmen had different nationalities, without giving further details.

“They are from different countries. We have sufficient intelligence this is global terrorism,” Karangi said.

Several foreign fighters, including Somalis with dual nationalities, are members of the Shebab force.

Contrary to some earlier rumours, Lenku denied that any of the insurgents were women.

“There are no women, all the terrorists are men. Some of them had dressed like women,” he said.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.