No hostages were left in the devastated Nairobi shopping centre where terrorists killed 67 people, the Kenyan government said, despite a Red Cross estimate that dozens remain missing after the attack.
Kenya's interior minister said nine suspects were now in custody following last week's attack by Al-Shabaab militants. Joseph Ole Lenku also criticised an American decision to upgrade its travel warning for citizens heading to the east African country, saying it was "unnecessary" and "unfriendly". Kenyan security forces believe between 10 and 15 terrorists attacked the Westgate centre on September 21, throwing grenades and opening fire indiscriminately.
Five were killed in the attack, but Mr Ole Lenku would not say if the remainder were suspected of having been gunmen or part of the wider plot. A British man arrested at Nairobi airport in the aftermath of the attack remained in custody, but Mr Ole Lenku declined to comment on reports that Sharif Ahmed Abdirazak had been carrying plans of the shopping centre on his laptop when held.
The British High Commission has previously said his arrest was not considered central to the investigation into the attack. Five days after the siege ended, the Red Cross's latest figures show 59 people are still registered as missing in the attack. Three floors of the building collapsed in the later stages of the fighting and rescuers have said they fear bodies are still trapped. However, Ole Lenku said the death toll still stood at 67 and there were no hostages left in the building after the attack, "unless forensic evidence shows otherwise".
He also asked America to lift a travel advisory urging US citizens to "evaluate their personal security situation in light of continuing and recently heightened threats from terrorism" in the east African country. "We believe issuing the travel advisory is counter-productive in the fight against global terrorism," Ole Lenku said.