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Israeli forces join effort to end hostage crisis at Kenya mall

Israeli advisers are helping Kenyan authorities formulate a strategy to end a siege at a Nairobi shopping mall where al-Shabab militants have killed at least 59 people and are holding about 30 hostages, Israeli media reported today.

"There are Israeli advisers helping with the negotiating strategy, but no Israelis involved in any imminent storming operation," a source who wished to remain unidentified told Haaretz.

The source said that only a few Israelis, "purely in an advisory role," were on scene at the upscale Westgate Mall.

Israeli President Shimon Peres took to Twitter on Sunday to express his regrets.

"I wish to extend my deepest condolences to the people of #Kenya on the horrific terror attack in #Nairobi," he said to his nearly 27,000 followers.

Kenya's Cabinet secretary said 10 to 15 are attackers involved and that Kenyan forces have control of the security cameras inside the mall, Haaretz reported.

The Somali Islamist group al-Shabab, which is battling Kenyan and other African peacekeepers in Somalia, claimed responsibility for Saturday's attack.

The group repeatedly threatened attacks in Kenya if Nairobi did not pull its troops out of Somalia, Reuters reported.

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