UPDATE 22/09 22:17: Kenyan security forces say 'most hostages are rescued'

British people have been killed in the terrorist attack on a Kenyan shopping centre, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

Three Britons have been confirmed dead, and the number is likely to rise, officials said.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "We should prepare ourselves for further bad news."

He condemned the "despicable attack of appalling brutality".

A total of 68 people have been killed after armed terrorists stormed the Nairobi shopping centre.

Earlier, Foreign Secretary William Hague said Britons had undoubtedly been caught up in the "callous and cowardly and brutal" assault by a heavily-armed gang who singled out non-Muslims.

Hostages were reportedly still being held as a standoff between security forces and the gunmen inside the Westgate mall continued.

Some of those shot were killed when they failed to recite a Muslim prayer at gunpoint, Sky News reported.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta vowed the terrorists would "not get away with their despicable and beastly acts".

And he revealed: "My nephew and his fiancee were among those who died in this attack."

Nobody should lose their life so needlessly and senselessly, he said.

CONTINUES BELOW GALLERY

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  • Relatives help a woman at the Nairobi City Mortuary after she identified the body of a victim of the mall attack in Kenya, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. Kenyan authorities said Islamic extremist attackers remain inside the upscale Kenyan shopping mall, holding an unknown number of hostages, after killing at least 39 and injuring 150 during Saturday's attack. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

  • Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013: Nairobi, Kenya_ Relatives help a woman at the Nairobi City Mortuary after she identified the body of a victim of the Saturday attack at a mall. Kenyan authorities said Islamic extremist attackers remain inside the upscale Kenyan shopping mall, holding an unknown number of hostages, after killing and injuring scores of people in the attack. An assault by Islamic extremists at a Kenya mall, a suicide attack on a Pakistani church and assaults by suicide bombers targeting mourners at Shiite and Sunni funerals in Iraq have killed more than 250 people and injured at least 470 others since Saturday. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

  • Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013: Nairobi, Kenya_ A security officer helps a wounded woman outside the Westgate Mall after gunmen opened fire and threw grenades. Kenyan authorities said Islamic extremist attackers remain inside the upscale Kenyan shopping mall Sunday, holding an unknown number of hostages, after killing and injuring scores of people the attack. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi, File)

  • Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013: Nairobi, Kenya_Civilians who had been hiding during a gun battle hold their hands in the air as a precautionary measure before being searched by armed police leading them to safety, inside the Westgate Mall. Kenyan authorities said Islamic extremist attackers remain inside the upscale Kenyan shopping mall Sunday, holding an unknown number of hostages, after killing and injuring scores of people in the attack. (AP Photo/Jonathan Kalan, File)

  • Kenya security forces are seen behind a wall outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Monday morning, Sept. 23, 2013. Kenya's military launched a major operation at the upscale Nairobi mall and said it had rescued "most" of the hostages being held captive by al-Qaida-linked militants during the standoff that killed at least 68 people and injured 175. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

  • Kenya security personnel, one in plain clothes, take cover outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Monday Sept. 23, 2013 after shooting started inside the mall. Kenya's military launched a major operation at the upscale Nairobi mall and said it had rescued "most" of the hostages being held captive by al-Qaida-linked militants during the standoff that killed at least 68 people and injured 175. (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)

  • Kenya security forces are seen behind a wall outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Monday morning, Sept. 23, 2013. Kenya's military launched a major operation at the upscale Nairobi mall and said it had rescued "most" of the hostages being held captive by al-Qaida-linked militants during the standoff that killed at least 68 people and injured 175. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

  • Kenya security personnel arrive in a land rover outside the Westgate Mall after firing started inside the mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Monday, Sept. 23, 2013. Kenya's military launched a major operation at an upscale Nairobi mall and said it had rescued "most" of the hostages being held captive by al-Qaida-linked militants during a two-day standoff that killed at least 68 people and injured 175. (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)

  • Kenya Security personnel take cover outside the Westgate Mall after firing started inside the mall early Monday morning, Sept. 23, 2013. Kenya's military launched a major operation at the upscale Nairobi mall and said it had rescued "most" of the hostages being held captive by al-Qaida-linked militants during the standoff that killed at least 68 people and injured 175. (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)

  • Kenyans wait to donate blood for victims in Sunday's terrorist attack on a shopping mall, at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, Kenya Monday, Sept. 23, 2013. Hostages being held by al-Qaida-linked terrorists in the mall have not been released despite an earlier statement from the military that "most" had been rescued, a person connected to the situation told The Associated Press on Monday. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

  • People donate blood for injured persons in an attack at the Westgate Mall, at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, Kenya, Monday, Sept. 23, 2013. Hostages being held by al-Qaida-linked terrorists in the mall have not been released despite an earlier statement from the military that “most” had been rescued, a person connected to the situation told The Associated Press on Monday. Military helicopters circled over the mall at daybreak, when about five minutes of sustained gunfire broke out at the mall, a clear indication that at least one of the estimated 10 to 15 gunmen who attacked the mall when it was filled with shoppers Saturday was still on the loose. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

  • People donate blood for injured persons in an attack at the Westgate Mall, at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, Kenya, Monday, Sept. 23, 2013. Hostages being held by al-Qaida-linked terrorists in the mall have not been released despite an earlier statement from the military that “most” had been rescued, a person connected to the situation told The Associated Press on Monday. Military helicopters circled over the mall at daybreak, when about five minutes of sustained gunfire broke out at the mall, a clear indication that at least one of the estimated 10 to 15 gunmen who attacked the mall when it was filled with shoppers Saturday was still on the loose. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

  • Stephen, center, who lost his father in Saturday's attack at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, is comforted by relatives as he waits for the post mortem exam at the city morgue Monday, Sept. 23, 2013. Islamic extremist gunmen lobbed grenades and fired assault rifles inside Nairobi's top mall Saturday, killing dozens and wounding over a hundred in the attack. Early Monday morning gunmen remained holed up inside the mall with an unknown number of hostages. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

  • Stephen, center, who lost his father in Saturday's attack at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, is comforted by relatives as he waits for the post mortem exam at the city morgue Monday, Sept. 23, 2013. Islamic extremist gunmen lobbed grenades and fired assault rifles inside Nairobi's top mall Saturday, killing dozens and wounding over a hundred in the attack. Early Monday morning gunmen remained holed up inside the mall with an unknown number of hostages. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

  • Paramedics and police officers run outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi after heavy shooting started Monday, Sept. 23, 2013. Kenya's military launched a major operation at the upscale Nairobi mall and said it had rescued "most" of the hostages being held captive by al-Qaida-linked militants during the standoff. (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)

  • Armed police from the General Service Unit take cover behind a wall during a bout of gunfire, outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Monday, Sept. 23, 2013. Hostages being held by al-Qaida-linked terrorists in a Nairobi mall have not been released despite an earlier statement from the military that "most" had been rescued, a person connected to the situation told The Associated Press on Monday. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

  • People take cover outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi after heavy shooting started Monday, Sept. 23, 2013. Kenya's military launched a major operation at the upscale Nairobi mall and said it had rescued "most" of the hostages being held captive by al-Qaida-linked militants during the standoff. (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)

  • A paramedic runs for cover outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi after heavy shooting started Monday, Sept. 23, 2013. Kenya's military launched a major operation at the upscale Nairobi mall and said it had rescued "most" of the hostages being held captive by al-Qaida-linked militants during the standoff. (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)

  • A Red Cross assistant helps a child outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, after gunmen threw grenades and opened fire during an attack that left multiple dead and dozens wounded. A witness to the attacks on the upscale shopping mall says that gunmen told Muslims to stand up and leave and that non-Muslims would be targeted. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

  • A security guard helps a child outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Sept. 21 2013, after gunmen threw grenades and opened fire during an attack that left multiple dead and dozens wounded. A witness to the attacks on the upscale shopping mall says that gunmen told Muslims to stand up and leave and that non-Muslims would be targeted. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

  • The mother and a security guard help a child outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Sept. 21 2013, after gunmen threw grenades and opened fire during an attack that left multiple dead and dozens wounded. A witness to the attacks on the upscale shopping mall says that gunmen told Muslims to stand up and leave and that non-Muslims would be targeted. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

  • Security officers help a wounded woman outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, after gunmen threw grenades and opened fire during an attack that left multiple dead and dozens wounded. A witness to the attacks on the upscale shopping mall says that gunmen told Muslims to stand up and leave and that non-Muslims would be targeted. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

  • An injured person is helped on his arrival at the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi after an attack at the Westgate Mall, an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday Sept. 21, 2013, where shooting erupted when armed men staged an attack. A witness to the attacks says that gunmen told Muslims to stand up and leave and that non-Muslims would be targeted. Initial police reports had described the incident as a botched robbery. Witnesses say a half dozen grenades also went off along with volleys of gunfire in and around the mall. (AP Photo/Jason Straziuso)

  • An injured person is helped on his arrival at the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi after an attack at the Westgate Mall, an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday Sept. 21, 2013, where shooting erupted when armed men staged an attack. A witness to the attacks says that gunmen told Muslims to stand up and leave and that non-Muslims would be targeted. Initial police reports had described the incident as a botched robbery. Witnesses say a half dozen grenades also went off along with volleys of gunfire in and around the mall. (AP Photo/Jason Straziuso)

  • An injured person arrives at the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi after an attack at the Westgate Mall, an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday Sept. 21, 2013, where shooting erupted when armed men staged an attack. A witness to the attacks says that gunmen told Muslims to stand up and leave and that non-Muslims would be targeted. Initial police reports had described the incident as a botched robbery. Witnesses say a half dozen grenades also went off along with volleys of gunfire in and around the mall. (AP Photo/Jason Straziuso)

  • An injured person is helped on his arrival at the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi after an attack at the Westgate Mall, an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday Sept. 21, 2013, where shooting erupted when armed men staged an attack. A witness to the attacks says that gunmen told Muslims to stand up and leave and that non-Muslims would be targeted. Initial police reports had described the incident as a botched robbery. Witnesses say a half dozen grenades also went off along with volleys of gunfire in and around the mall. (AP Photo/Jason Straziuso)

  • An injured person makes a phone call as he is helped on his arrival at the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi after an attack at the Westgate Mall, an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday Sept. 21, 2013, where shooting erupted when armed men staged an attack. A witness to the attacks says that gunmen told Muslims to stand up and leave and that non-Muslims would be targeted. Initial police reports had described the incident as a botched robbery. Witnesses say a half dozen grenades also went off along with volleys of gunfire in and around the mall. (AP Photo/Jason Straziuso)

  • An armed police officer takes cover during a bout of gunfire outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. Gunmen threw grenades and opened fire Saturday killing at least 22 people in an attack targeting non-Muslims at an upscale mall in Kenya's capital that was hosting a children's day event, a Red Cross official and witnesses said. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

  • Armed police take cover behind escalators as smoke fills the air inside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. Gunmen threw grenades and opened fire Saturday, killing at least 22 people in an attack targeting non-Muslims at an upscale mall in Kenya's capital that was hosting a children's day event, a Red Cross official and witnesses said. (AP Photo/Jonathan Kalan)

  • A body is seen on the floor, below right, as smoke fills the air inside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. Gunmen threw grenades and opened fire Saturday, killing at least 22 people in an attack targeting non-Muslims at an upscale mall in Kenya's capital that was hosting a children's day event, a Red Cross official and witnesses said. (AP Photo/Jonathan Kalan)

  • Civilians who had been hiding inside during the gun battle manage to flee from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. Gunmen threw grenades and opened fire Saturday, killing at least 22 people in an attack targeting non-Muslims at an upscale mall in Kenya's capital that was hosting a children's day event, a Red Cross official and witnesses said. (AP Photo/Jonathan Kalan)

  • Armed police leave after entering the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. Gunmen threw grenades and opened fire Saturday, killing at least 22 people in an attack targeting non-Muslims at an upscale mall in Kenya's capital that was hosting a children's day event, a Red Cross official and witnesses said. (AP Photo/Jonathan Kalan)

  • Civilians who had been hiding inside during the gun battle manage to flee from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. Gunmen threw grenades and opened fire Saturday, killing at least 22 people in an attack targeting non-Muslims at an upscale mall in Kenya's capital that was hosting a children's day event, a Red Cross official and witnesses said. (AP Photo/Jonathan Kalan)

  • A woman who had been hiding during the gun battle runs for cover after armed police, seen behind, enter the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. Gunmen threw grenades and opened fire Saturday, killing at least 22 people in an attack targeting non-Muslims at an upscale mall in Kenya's capital that was hosting a children's day event, a Red Cross official and witnesses said. (AP Photo/Jonathan Kalan)

  • Armed police leave after entering the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. Gunmen threw grenades and opened fire Saturday, killing at least 22 people in an attack targeting non-Muslims at an upscale mall in Kenya's capital that was hosting a children's day event, a Red Cross official and witnesses said. (AP Photo/Jonathan Kalan)

  • Armed police crouch down and take position during a gun battle outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. Gunmen threw grenades and opened fire Saturday killing at least 22 people in an attack targeting non-Muslims at an upscale mall in Kenya's capital that was hosting a children's day event, a Red Cross official and witnesses said. (AP Photo/Jonathan Kalan)

  • A woman who had been hiding inside and managed to flee, sits in a state of shock, as an unidentified armed member of the security forces, above, keeps watch outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. Gunmen threw grenades and opened fire Saturday killing at least 22 people in an attack targeting non-Muslims at an upscale mall in Kenya's capital that was hosting a children's day event, a Red Cross official and witnesses said. (AP Photo/Jonathan Kalan)

  • Security helps a woman outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, after gunmen threw grenades and opened fire during an attack that left multiple dead and dozens wounded. A witness to the attacks on the upscale shopping mall says that gunmen told Muslims to stand up and leave and that non-Muslims would be targeted. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

  • Civilians who had been hiding during the gun battle hold their hands in the air as a precautionary measure before being searched by armed police leading them to safety, inside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. Gunmen threw grenades and opened fire Saturday, killing at least 22 people in an attack targeting non-Muslims at an upscale mall in Kenya's capital that was hosting a children's day event, a Red Cross official and witnesses said. (AP Photo/Jonathan Kalan)

  • Civilians who had been hiding inside during gunbattles manage to flee from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. Gunmen threw grenades and opened fire Saturday killing at least 22 people in an attack targeting non-Muslims at an upscale mall in Kenya's capital that was hosting a children's day event, a Red Cross official and witnesses said. (AP Photo/Jonathan Kalan)

  • Security helps people outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, after gunmen threw grenades and opened fire during an attack that left multiple dead and dozens wounded. A witness to the attacks on the upscale shopping mall says that gunmen told Muslims to stand up and leave and that non-Muslims would be targeted. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

  • Armed special force aim their guns at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya on Saturday, Sept. 21 2013, after gunmen threw grenades and opened fire during an attack that left multiple dead and dozens wounded. A witness to the attacks on the upscale shopping mall says that gunmen told Muslims to stand up and leave and that non-Muslims would be targeted(AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

  • Security helps a wounded woman outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, after gunmen threw grenades and opened fire during an attack that left multiple dead and dozens wounded. A witness to the attacks on the upscale shopping mall says that gunmen told Muslims to stand up and leave and that non-Muslims would be targeted. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

  • KENYA-UNREST-ATTACK

    A policeman carries a baby to safety after masked gunmen stormed an upmarket mall and sprayed gunfire on shoppers and staff, killing at least six on September 21, 2013 in Nairobi. The Gunmen have taken at least seven hostages, police and security guards told an AFP reporter at the scene. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • KENYA-UNREST-ATTACK

    A Kenyan woman is helped to safety after masked gunmen stormed an upmarket mall and sprayed gunfire on shoppers and staff, killing at least six on September 21, 2013 in Nairobi. The Gunmen have taken at least seven hostages, police and security guards told an AFP reporter at the scene. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • KENYA-UNREST-ATTACK

    A dead body lies on the ground as armed policemen try enter the Westgate mall after masked gunmen stormed an upmarket mall and sprayed gunfire on shoppers and staff, killing at least six on September 21, 2013 in Nairobi. The Gunmen have taken at least seven hostages, police and security guards told an AFP reporter at the scene. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • KENYA-UNREST-ATTACK

    A policeman carries a baby to safety after masked gunmen stormed an upmarket mall and sprayed gunfire on shoppers and staff, killing at least six on September 21, 2013 in Nairobi. The Gunmen have taken at least seven hostages, police and security guards told an AFP reporter at the scene. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • KENYA-UNREST-ATTACK

    A body of a man lies on the ground as armed policemen try to get entry into the Westgate after masked gunmen stormed an upmarket mall and sprayed gunfire on shoppers and staff, killing at least six on September 21, 2013 in Nairobi. The Gunmen have taken at least seven hostages, police and security guards told an AFP reporter at the scene. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • KENYA-UNREST-ATTACK

    Injured people receive assistance from bypassers after masked gunmen stormed an upmarket mall and sprayed gunfire on shoppers and staff, killing at least thirteen on September 21, 2013 in Nairobi. The Gunmen have taken at least seven hostages, police and security guards told an AFP reporter at the scene. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • KENYA-UNREST-ATTACK

    Injured people sit on the street waiting for assistance after masked gunmen stormed an upmarket mall and sprayed gunfire on shoppers and staff, killing at least thirteen on September 21, 2013 in Nairobi. The Gunmen have taken at least seven hostages, police and security guards told an AFP reporter at the scene. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • KENYA-UNREST-ATTACK

    People run away from an upmarket mall after masked gunmen stormed it and sprayed gunfire on shoppers and staff, killing at least six on September 21, 2013 in Nairobi. The Gunmen have taken at least seven hostages, police and security guards told an AFP reporter at the scene. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)

Terrified shoppers told of how they huddled in back hallways and prayed they would not be found by the Islamic extremist gunmen.

When the way appeared clear, crying mothers clutching small children and blood-splattered men sprinted out of the four-storey mall.

Witness Elijah Kamau said the gunmen told Muslims to stand up and leave and that non-Muslims would be targeted, as they began their attack.

The gunmen threw grenades and then opened fire, sending shoppers and staff fleeing for their lives.

Speaking from Nairobi, The Independent's Daniel Howden told the BBC that a "massive operation" was still ongoing
inside the mall this morning where the gang continued to hold an unknown number of people hostage.

Al-Shabaab, also known as Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen, earlier tweeted that there will be "no negotiations whatsoever".

The group claimed responsibility for the atrocity, writing on its official Twitter feed that "the Mujahideen entered Westgate Mall" at around noon local time yesterday.

It said it had previously warned the Kenyan government that, if they did not remove military forces from Somalia, there would be "severe consequences".

"For long we have waged war against the Kenyans in our land, now it's time to shift the battleground and take the war to their land," it tweeted.

It added that they were "still inside the mall, fighting the Kenyan kuffar inside their own turf" before the account was suspended by Twitter.

The organisation claimed it had killed more than 100 Kenyan "kuffar", a derogatory term used to describe non-Muslims.

Video footage of the attack showed terrified shoppers running for cover as the sound of gunfire could be heard.

The video, obtained by CCTV Africa, revealed the scenes in a supermarket in the mall, where some people tried to hide in the store's aisles as others fled for safety.

The footage showed shoppers abandoning their trolleys as repeated shots rang out.

At one point a group of people are seen hiding behind a door, peering through a small window as someone making a mobile phone call says "there's a terrorist".

Cameron said he had offered the Kenyan authorities "every assistance" in a call to president Uhuru Kenyatta.

He also indicated that British intelligence assistance could be provided.

Cameron said: "These appalling terrorist attacks that take place, where the perpetrators claim they do it in the name of a religion, they don't.

"They do it in the name of terror, violence and extremism and their warped view of the world.

"They don't represent Islam or Muslims in Britain or anywhere else in the world.

"Obviously the first priority is to make sure we do everything for the British nationals caught up in this, so we're strengthening the consular services that we have and the people that we have to look after our people.

"We've also offered the Kenyans help in terms of policing and advice and intelligence collaboration and other areas which we will be able to help with.

"The situation is ongoing and, as I say that why I think we have to brace ourselves for more bad news as this continues.
"It's an extremely difficult situation but we're doing everything we can to help the Kenyans in their hour of need."

Labour leader Ed Miliband offered his support to the Government and said: "Those who carried out this attack will be condemned across the globe. The cold-blooded killing of innocent women, children and men is as despicable as it is shocking."

An al-Shaabab spokesman told Channel 4 News that westerners would not be safe in Kenya until the country pulled its forces out of Somalia.

He said: "Kenyans have blood on their hands. Anyone who is prepared to come to Kenya must be prepared to face the reality, and we don't fear Europeans and Americans because we are not weak.

"And we are saying to the Europeans and the Americans who have been supporting those who have been attacking us, you should tell the Kenyans to stop their aggression if you want to be safe."

Kenya's Red Cross said the death toll from the militant attack on the mall had risen to 68 and president Kenyatta's nephew and his fiancee were among those killed.

"These are young lovely people I personally knew and loved," the president said, promising retribution against the terrorists.

"They shall not get away with their despicable and beastly acts.

"Like the cowardly perpetrators now cornered in the building, we will punish the masterminds swiftly and indeed very painfully.

"I call on Kenyans to stand courageous and united. Let us not sacrifice our values and dignity to appease cowards.

"Our victory must be conclusive - let us defeat them with our unity."

  • A Foreign Office helpline has been set up for those worried about relatives in Kenya: 0207 008000