PM Lee offers condolences to Kenyan president

Kenyan soldiers run through a corridor on an upper floor, shortly after an explosion was heard, at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya on Tuesday, Sept 24, 2013. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has written to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to of
Kenyan soldiers run through a corridor on an upper floor, shortly after an explosion was heard, at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya on Tuesday, Sept 24, 2013. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has written to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to offer his condolences on the senseless gun attack that took place at Westgate Mall in Nairobi last weekend. -- PHOTO: AP

PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong has written to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to offer his condolences on the "senseless gun attack" that took place at Westgate Mall in Nairobi last weekend.

"I was especially saddened to learn that your nephew was one of the victims," wrote Mr Lee in his letter to Mr Kenyatta on Wednesday.

Mr Mbugua Mwangi, the Kenyan President's nephew, was reportedly shot when he tried to protect his fiancee Rosemary Wahito from the gunmen, according to African media.   

"Singapore strongly condemns this act of terror which has claimed so many innocent lives," he said, adding that the incident is a "painful reminder that we must remain vigilant and resolute in countering terrorism".

"I am confident that Kenyans will overcome this latest tragedy with fortitude and resilience," Mr Lee added.

Kenyan troops and rescue workers on Wednesday continue to scour the wreckage of the shopping complex for bodies after the end of a four-day siege by Islamist gunmen.

A large part of the former upmarket mall had collapsed after heavy explosions and fierce fire, AFP reported.

President Kenyatta said 61 civilians and six members of the security forces were killed in the attack, and dozens more remain missing.

Somalia's al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels claimed a higher casualty number on Twitter, saying that all 137 hostages that they held were killed.