An Islamist militant who was part of the group that stormed the shopping mall in Nairobi on Saturday was wearing a white turban, said witnesses, while the rest of the men wore black head coverings.
Most wore civilian clothes, but a few of them had camouflage fatigues. In the group, some used sophisticated machine guns, while others used AK-47s, which are used often by insurgents from Africa. The majority of the militants were young and yelled out orders in English.
The bloody standoff on Tuesday stretched into another day making it four afternoons since the event unfolded. Elite security forces from Kenya combed the shopping mall looking to capture or shoot the Islamist militants who remained hidden inside.
The militants still have control of a small corner of the mall and refuse to give up. Sporadic rounds of gunfire could be heard and smoked billowed out of the building. A number of al-Shaabab militants appeared dug in and ready to defend themselves to death. The group has ties to al-Qaeda.
Reports are conflicting over the siege. The Kenyan authorities said all of the hostages had been released or rescued. However, tweets from the militants said the hostages remained alive but were quite disconcerted.
Dozens of individuals who were said to have been inside the mall at the time of the siege remain missing.
Kenyan authorities also said that two or three of the militants were killed, but al-Shaabab in an Internet post claimed none of their men were dead.
Great speculation has taken place about the militant’s identity, and how they were able to pull of such a sophisticated assault. Thus far, there have been 62 confirmed deaths and over 175 injuries.
The Foreign Minister of Kenya said two to three of the militants were Americans and one was British.