Islamist militants were holding hostages on Sunday (September 22) at a shopping mall in Nairobi, where the death toll from an attack by Islamist militants reached 68, after nine more bodies were brought out from the building, Kenya's Red Cross said on its Twitter feed.

Brief volleys of gunfire and a blast interrupted hours of stalemate. A correspondent saw security personnel on the move and, as dusk closed, two helicopters swooped low over the Westgate shopping centre, which has several Israeli-owned outlets and is frequented by prosperous Kenyans and foreigners.

Mobile phone signals began to fail in the area as darkness fell. Kenya's president, vowing to stand firm against Somali militants, was cautious about the outcome and said chances of the siege ending well were "as good ... as we can hope for".

British Prime Minister David Cameron, confirming three Britons were dead, said: "We should prepare ourselves for further bad news."

Other foreigners, including a French mother and daughter and two diplomats from Canada and Ghana, were killed in Saturday's (September 21) attack, which was claimed by al Shabaab.

Shortly after the shots were fired, troops in camouflage ran crouching below a restaurant terrace along the front of the building that had been buzzing with customers when assailants charged in.

Scores of Kenyans gathered on Sunday at a site overlooking the mall, awaiting what they expected to be a violent denouement.

President Kenyatta, facing his first major security challenge since being elected in March, said he lost a nephew and his fiancée in the raid and vowed to defeat the militants.

The spokesman for Al Shabaab's military operations his group had nothing to fear.

Presented by Adam Justice

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