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Bodies of 2 slain Kenyan soldiers recovered from Westgate Mall rubble

Oct. 2, 2013 at 9:27 AM   |   Comments

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- The bodies of two Kenyan soldiers were retrieved from the rubble at the upscale mall in Nairobi as investigators work to learn more about the attackers.

Officials said investigators were working between the Westgate Premier Shopping Mall -- under siege for four days after al-Shabaab militants stormed it Sept. 21 -- and the city morgue as they piece together leads, the Standard Digital News in Nairobi reported.

Officials said eight appendages also were recovered Tuesday from the Westgate mall.

The recovery of the two soldiers raised the death toll of Kenya Defense Force members to eight, officials said.

Nine other bodies were recovered on Monday.

Officers involved in the search said it could take up to another four days to sift through the rubble in the search for bodies.

"There are more bodies, but the retrieval has been hampered by the amount of debris," one official told Standard Digital News. Officials say 67 people died in the siege.

British intelligence sources told Standard Digital News the attackers might have been trained in Chechnya.

"It would take very highly-trained attackers to mount such an attack," the source said. "[They] must have been trained in Chechnya."

As the investigation goes on, new fears have been voiced that hostages may have been killed by Kenya's military when it used explosives against the attackers, who some officials say they fear escaped.

Al-Shabaab, a Somali Islamist group, said the attack was in retaliation for Kenya's military involvement in Somalia.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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