Somalia militant group says hostages in Kenya mall alive

NAIROBI, Kenya: 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 on Tuesday by the al-Qaida-linked rebel group al-Shabaab came after Kenyan government assurances of success in the fourth-day of the standoff. 

Al-Shabaab 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 on Tuesday as government forces pressed on inside. 

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