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Number of missing from Nairobi mall siege lowered to 39 from 61

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- The number of missing from last week's militant siege of an upscale mall in Nairobi, Kenya, was lowered to 39 from 61, the Kenyan Red Cross said.

The agency said 14 of the missing were found alive and seven bodies were identified in the morgue, the BBC reported Monday.

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Before the latest information from Kenyan Red Cross, the Kenyan government said at least 67 people were killed after al-Shabaab militants stormed the Westgate mall Sept. 21.

Lawmakers have begun an investigation into alleged intelligence failings related to the attack.

RELATED Report: Kenyan cabinet warned of possible terrorist attack

The Red Cross said some relatives didn't alert the humanitarian group that people listed as unaccounted-for were no longer missing.

A Red Cross tracking manager told the BBC "some were reports from people who could not get through to their relatives on the phone and thought they might have been at the mall."

Five militants were killed during the four-day siege and 10 people have been arrested, authorities said.

RELATED Did al-Shabaab rent store in Nairobi mall before the attack?

Al-Shabaab, an Islamic militant group based in Somalia, said the attack was in retaliation for Kenya's military involvement in Somalia.

It has been reported the militants had rented a mall storefront in the weeks leading up to the siege.

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The Daily Nation reported Kenyan intelligence established al-Shabaab leaders focused on multistory Westgate Premier Shopping Mall and the Holy Family Basilica as targets of an attack early this year.

RELATED Woman linked to mall attack sought as search continues for bodies

Government leaders who reportedly received the intelligence briefings include Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku, Treasury Minister Julius Rotich, Foreign Affairs Minister Amina Mohammed, Defense Minister Raychelle Omamo and Kenya Defense Forces leader Julius Karangi.

Lenku Sunday refused to answer questions on the issue, citing confidentiality.

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