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Militant group: hostages alive in Kenya mall

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Fires at the rear of the Westgate Mall are seen through the treeline, at dawn in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. Kenyan security forces battled al-Qaida-linked terrorists in an upscale mall for a fourth day Tuesday in what they said was a final push to rescue the last few hostages in a siege that has left at least 62 people dead. Fires at the rear of the Westgate Mall are seen through the treeline, at dawn in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. Kenyan security forces battled al-Qaida-linked terrorists in an upscale mall for a fourth day Tuesday in what they said was a final push to rescue the last few hostages in a siege that has left at least 62 people dead. Image source: Associated Press

   NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The militant group that attacked a Nairobi mall and killed at least 60 people says it is still holding hostages alive inside and that its fighters are "still holding their ground."

   The Twitter messages posted Tuesday by the al-Qaida-linked rebel group al-Shabab came after Kenyan government assurances of success in the fourth-day of the standoff.

   Al-Shabab says the hostages "are still alive, looking quite disconcerted but, nevertheless, alive."

   A security expert with contacts inside said Monday night there were at least 30 hostages when the assault began Saturday and at least 10 were believed to be still inside the upscale mall. Officials did not give a figure, saying only that "most" hostages had been released.

   Sporadic gunfire could be heard from the building Tuesday as government forces pressed on inside.

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