Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said all the gunmen behind Nairobi hotel complex attack have been killed and the 19-hour hostage crisis is over.
In a national television address, Kenyatta said on Wednesday 14 civilians died in the attack claimed by the al-Shabab armed group.
The president said more than 700 civilians were evacuated from the complex.
“The security operation operation at Dusit complex is over and all the terrorists have been eliminated,” said Kenyatta.
“We have confirmation that 14 innocent lives were lost through the hands of these murderers, terrorists with others injured.”
Earlier reports said at least 15 people were killed.
“We are grieving as a country this morning and my heart – and that of every Kenyan – goes out to the innocent men and women violated by senseless violence. We wish the injured quick recovery and as a nation we will continue to pray for them,” said Kenyatta.
According to Kenya’s police chief, Joseph Boinnet, the coordinated assault began at 3pm local time (12:00GMT) on Tuesday with an explosion that targeted three vehicles outside a bank, and a suicide bombing in the hotel lobby that severely wounded a number of guests.
The attack was claimed by the al-Qaeda-linked armed group al-Shabab, which has repeatedly targeted Kenya since it sent its army into Somalia in October 2011 to fight the group.
“Our fighters killed 47 enemies inside the complex. The mujahideen are still in control of most parts of the building complex,” Abdiaziz Abu Mus’ab, the group’s military operations spokesperson, told Al Jazeera on Tuesday.
The attack at DusitD2 is the first in Nairobi since gunmen stormed the city’s Westgate shopping mall in 2013, killing at least 67 people.
On April 2, 2015, another al-Shabab attack killed 148 people at the university in Garissa, eastern Kenya.
The Westgate attack resulted in many upscale establishments and shopping centres in the capital – including the Dusit – putting up security barriers to check cars and pedestrians.
Several Nairobi establishments popular with Westerners announced on social media on Tuesday they had closed for security reasons.
Al Jazeera and news agencies