One security officer said the mall had been turned into ‘an abattoir’ within half an hour as gunmen went on the rampage.
As shocking details emerged of the horrors committed inside the Westgate shopping centre, it was also reported that an injured woman had been sexually abused at gunpoint in front of young hostages.
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'Like an abattoir': A Kenyan soldier prepares to enter the Westgate Mall, where miltants reportedly burnt the faces of their victims and cut off their hands to prevent them being identified
Horrific: It was reported that a woman had been sexually abused at gunpoint in front of young hostages
It is believed that she has been shot in the shoulder, while her child has been killed.
Details of the incident were posted hundreds of times on Facebook.
The woman is said to have been able to speak several times with her husband, who is outside the shopping centre – but last night he had heard nothing from her for several hours.
Kenya's foreign minister Amina Mohamed said up to three Americans and one British person were among those who attacked the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi.
He told PBS' 'NewsHour' program that the Americans were 18 to 19 years old, of Somali or Arab origin and lived 'in Minnesota and one other place' in the U.S.
The revelation would support information posted onto Twitter, which suggested the terror cell which carried out the attack was 15-strong and contained many nationalities, including citizens of the United States.
The attacker from Britain was a woman who has 'done this many times before,' Mohamed said which lends weight to speculation that the so-called 'White Widow', Samantha Lewhwaite may have taken part in the raid.
Shock: Kamal Kaur - who was hosting the competition for 33 children at the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi on Saturday - said her own daughter and son, aged 12 and eight, were injured in the attack
Wounded: Radio presenter Mrs Kaur added that somebody carried away her daughter after the girl's leg was badly injured - and she could only say a prayer that she would be safe
Another witness who was hosting a cookery competition in the Kenyan mall attacked by terrorists claimed today that adults acted like ‘animals’ during the attack by climbing on top of children to escape.
Kamal Kaur - who was hosting the competition for 33 children at the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi on Saturday - said her own daughter and son, aged 12 and eight, were injured in the attack.
The radio presenter added that somebody carried away her daughter after the girl’s leg was badly injured - and she could only say a prayer that she would be safe.
Mrs Kaur told BBC News in an emotional interview: ‘I had about 30 to 33 kids with me. The shooting was going on. We were in the corner. I was telling everybody "bend down".
‘The adults were worst - they were animals, they were climbing on top of the kids to jump over the walls. I was trying to say “there are little children over there” - they were stepping on the children.
‘I think somebody carried my daughter out - she couldn't walk, she was hurt pretty badly on her leg, so a Samaritan picked her up and he ran off with her. I just said a prayer, “just look after her”.
Operation: Heavy smoke rises from the Nairobi shopping centre. Multiple large blasts have rocked the mall
Outside the mall: Armed police from the General Service Unit take cover behind a wall during a bout of gunfire
Mrs Kaur - whose colleague Ruhila Adatia, who was six months pregnant, was one of those killed in the terrifying attack - also posted a string of shocking tweets about her ordeal when she got home.
She said on Twitter: ‘I just washed my hair and wailed like a child. Blood in my hair. Not mine. That little boy who died right next to me…
‘My son almost had his head blown off. Missed by an inch. Hit wall. Bounced and killed the little boy next to him.’
Kenya said today that its security forces were in control of the mall and police were doing a final sweep of shops after rescuing the last hostages.
It comes the Kenyan Government claimed tonight that troops had wrested control of nearly all the shopping mall two days after it was seized by armed Islamic terrorists who killed more than 60 people - including six from Britain.
'The adults were worst - they were animals, they were climbing on top of the kids to jump over the walls'
Kamal Kaur, witness
Four thunderous explosions reverberated through a neighborhood, raising fears for the lives of any remaining hostages still being held by al-Shabab, a Somali group linked with Al Qaeda, in the mall.
Three attackers had been killed in the latest fighting and more than 10 suspects arrested. Eleven Kenyan soldiers were wounded. By evening, Kenyan security officials were claiming the upper hand.
The massacre began on Saturday shortly before midday local time.
Witnesses told how terrorists with faces hidden by Islamic scarves stormed the building, tossing grenades and spraying shoppers with AK-47s.
The killers, who were dressed in Western clothes, ordered all Muslims to leave, before carrying out rudimentary tests to see if hostages could recite the Koran and name the mother of the Prophet Mohammed.