No suspect escaped during the four day siege by terrorists at the Westgate shopping centre, Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku has said.
While responding to reports that some of the terrorists who held the mall for four days beginning on Saturday last week, the Interior secretary denied reports that some terrorists escaped through an underground tunnel saying that the security forces had secured all the exit routes.
Briefing the media at Harambee House yesterday evening Ole Lenku further said that forensic investigators have identified one of the vehicles used by the Westgate Mall terrorists and recovered crucial items that are providing credible leads.
He said some of the items found in the vehicle include an assortment of illegal weapons. "So far the police have recorded statements from 156 witnesses," Ole Lenku said.
He said the death toll from the terror attack remained at 67, comprising 57 Kenyans, two French, one Chinese, one Ghanaian, one Canadian, one Korean, one Australian, one South African, one Peru national and one from Netherlands.
Ole Lenku said the number of suspects in custody has risen to nine following the arrest of one more suspect. He added that the identities of the suspects will be disclosed once investigations are complete.
"It is premature to release these details now as that might prejudice ongoing investigations," he said. In relation to missing people, he said no formal reports have been made to the police regarding any missing persons in relation to the terror attack. According to the Kenya Red Cross 61 people are still missing following the attack.
"We urge Kenyans who may have missing persons who could have been at the Mall at the time of the attack to report to the police. We also urge humanitarian agencies to whom some people may have reported missing persons to forward that information to the police," the Interior Cabinet Secretary said.
He assured business owners that the Government is investigating cases of looting at the Mall and those found to have engaged in the vice will be prosecuted.
"Should anyone have information on looting at the Mall or indeed elsewhere, they should report to the police," he said.
On the re-issuance of the travel advisory by the U.S. government, Ole Lenku termed the move as 'uncalled for, unnecessary and unfriendly'.
He said issuing travel advisories is counter-productive in the fight against global terrorism and does not help in discouraging the evil.
"We shall not allow terrorists to instill fear in our people!" Ole Lenku said. Ole Lenku requested the U.S to lift the travel advisory, assuring that Kenya is calm and border patrols and surveillance at ports of entry are high. He urged Kenyans and visitors to remain vigilant at all times, saying enhancing security is a shared responsibility.