August 1, 2014
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 claims that "having failed to defeat the mujahideen inside the mall, the Kenyan govt disseminated chemical gases to end the siege."
A government spokesman 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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