not make an explicit link but that number could give an indication of the number of people held captive.
Kenya's Red Cross said the death toll rose to 68 after nine bodies were recovered Sunday. More than 175 people were injured, including many children, Kenyan officials said.
Somalia's Al-Qaeda linked rebel group, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the attack that specifically targeted non-Muslims, saying it was in retribution for Kenyan forces' 2011 push into neighboring Somalia.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry condemned what he called 'an enormous offense against everybody's sense of right and wrong,' and called the attackers 'ruthless and completely reckless terrorists'.
Kerry, who was in New York, for meetings at the United Nations, spoke Sunday with Somalia's foreign minister and UN ambassador.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said US law enforcement, military and civilian personnel in Nairobi were providing advice and assistance to the Kenyan authorities. She said five Americans were among the scores of people injured in the attack, but the US had no reports of any American deaths.
Earlier in the day, al-Shabab said on its new Twitter feed _ after its previous one was shut down Saturday _ that Kenyan officials were asking the hostage-takers to negotiate and offering incentives.
“We'll not negotiate with the Kenyan govt as long as its forces are invading our country, so reap the bitter fruits of your harvest,” al-Shabab said in a tweet.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who lost a nephew and the nephew's fiancee in the attack, reiterated his government's determination to continue fighting al-Shabab.
“We went as a nation into Somalia to help stabilize the country and most importantly to fight terror that had been unleashed on Kenya and the world,” said Kenyatta. “We shall not relent on the war on terror.”
Although this violent attack had succeeded, the Kenyan leader said, the country's security forces had 'neutralized' many others.
Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga told reporters that 'quite a number' of people were being held hostage in two areas of the sprawling complex, which