Kenyan shooting: Death toll rises to 68

There are fears that more South Africans might be among those who are still trapped inside the mall.

An image grab taken from AFP TV shows Kenyan troops taking position on September 21, 2013 inside the Westgate mall in Nairobi where Somali militants claimed responsibility for the killing of at least 59 people. Picture: NICHOLE SOBECKI/AFP.

NAIROBI/JOHANNESBURG - The death toll from an attack by Islamist militants on a Nairobi shopping mall has reached 68, after nine more bodies were brought out from the building, Kenya's Red Cross said on Sunday.

There are also fears that more South Africans might be among those who are still trapped inside Nairobi's Westgate Mall where gun men are still holding dozens of people hostage.

Al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab rebels have taken responsibility for the attack at the shopping centre that has claimed the lives of 59 people and wounding 175 others.

Officials say a further 49 are missing.

The South African High Commission in Kenya's Ratubatsi Moloi said, "There was a woman with two children who was also rescued so for now those are the people we know about. The operation is still underway so we wouldn't be surprised if the number increased."

The South African commission has confirmed a South African man has been killed during the gun attack on Saturday.

James Thomas was there on business and died from a gunshot wound.

KENYATTA CONDEMNS ATTACK

At the same time, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta says this is not a Kenyan war, but an international war.

Kenyatta says this is a problem that affects everyone in the world.

"This is an incident of terror that can happen in any city, anywhere in the world and many nations have suffered from such crimes."

He says the international community needs to unite against terrorism.

"We need to fight together to fight the terrorist battle not just in Kenya but wherever it hurts in the world."

Furthermore, US President Barack Obama has offered support to Kenyatta in dealing with the Nairobi mall attack.

Obama told Kenyatta on the phone that Washington is ready to assist in bringing the perpetrators to justice, the White House said.

The US leader, whose father was Kenyan, reaffirmed the strong ties between the two countries and their mutual engagement in fighting terrorism.

SA SURVIVOR OF MALL SHOOTING

Meanwhile, 34-year-old Charlene Waigango was hiding under a stairwell with about 60 others for almost two hours before managing to escape.

"We heard gun shots and explosions. It was really terrible."

Waigango said she moved into a store where gunmen were still firing shots.

"It was by the grace of God that we managed to sneak out and we had to take cover from shelf to shelf to reach the exit."

She managed to escape unharmed, but is still awaiting news if the people she was with managed to escape.

Kenyatta who lost a nephew in the attack addressed Kenyans and said his thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones.

"Many of us have lost loved ones so let us mourn them all as one nation and always keep them in our prayers. To those who have suffered physical and psychological wounds I offer words of comfort and encouragement. Please know are here to see you through these painful moments."