The militant group behind the four-day takeover of a Nairobi mall claimed on Wednesday that Kenyan government forces used chemical weapons in their assault on the building, then carried out "a demolition" to cover evidence and buried 137 hostages. In a series of Twitter posts from an account believed to be genuine, al-Shabaab said that "having failed to defeat the mujahideen inside the mall, the Kenyan govt disseminated chemical gases to end the siege." They added "to cover their crime, the Kenyan govt carried out a demolition to the building, burying evidence and all hostages under the rubble." Government spokesman Manoah Esipisu immediately denied the claim, telling told The Associated Press no chemical weapons were used and that the official civilian death toll remains 61. "Al-Shabaab is known for wild allegations and there is absolutely no truth to what they're saying," he said. Mr. Esipisu said floors of the building collapsed after a fire started by the al-Shabaab attackers caused structural weakness in a third floor parking lot, which then came down onto the second floor and brought it down onto the first, or ground floor. At the mall on Wednesday morning, gunshots could be heard. Mr. Esipisu said the… Read full this story
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