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The militant group, which operates across East Africa and in Yemen, said in a statement on Wednesday that its fighters stormed the DusitD2 complex on instructions from al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

USA ambassador Robert F. Godec said the United States is working closely with Kenyan authorities following the extremist attack in Nairobi this week.

January 2019: Two explosions and gunfire heard at an upscale hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya's capital.

On LinkedIn, Dahir said he was passionate about photography and sharing "the stories of vulnerable people especially the voiceless victims of violence in order to educate the world about the detrimental impacts of war".

"We will seek out every single person who was involved in the funding, planning and execution of this heinous act". Security camera footage released to local media showed a suicide bomber blowing himself up in a grassy area in the complex, the flash visible along with smoke billowing from the spot where he had been standing. Sixteen of the dead, including the policeman, were Kenyan, he said, as well as a British man, an American man, and three people of African origin whose nationality was uncertain.

Terror group Al-Shabaab initially claimed they had killed "47 enemies" - although that figure now appears to be vastly exaggerated.

The bloody bodies of five attackers were broadcast across social media as Kenyatta announced the end of the siege, which echoed a 2013 al Shabaab assault that killed 67 people in the Westgate shopping centre in the same district.

This week's bloodshed in Kenya's capital appeared created to inflict maximum damage to the country's image of stability and its tourism industry, an important source of revenue.

The government said late Tuesday that buildings were secure.

The attackers rained terror on the hotel and exchanged gunfire with Kenyan security forces for 19 hours before the terrifying ordeal was brought to a close on Wednesday.

The Kenya Red Cross said it was helping families searching for loved ones missing since the attack began.

It was not immediately clear how many attackers there were in total.

The Kenyan government said its quick reaction to Tuesday's assault on the DusitD2 complex reflected improvements in its ability to respond to such brazen assaults on civilian targets. "It's very hard for the families because the passage of time only makes the problem bigger", he said.

A security company confirms that two employees were killed in this week's extremist attack on a luxury hotel complex in Kenya's capital.

Briton Luke Potter, another development professional, worked for Gatsby Africa as head of their forestry and tea portfolio.

Spindler was CEO of investment firm I-Dev International.

Friends reported online that Spindler was having lunch at the hotel when the attack began.

The 40-year-old, from Houston, Texas, emerged from the subway when the first tower fell and was covered in dust and debris as he tried to help others, his mother Sarah told KTRK-TV.

"It's a traumatic experience".

He said the attackers yelled out 'why are you killing our brothers and sisters in Somalia?' before opening fire. Still, Davis said he was impressed by the "inner strength" and compassion of people who helped each other in the midst of danger. "They were so close, people said they would die together".