Kenya’s security forces have killed the Islamic extremist gunmen whose assault on a luxury hotel and shopping complex took 14 “innocent lives,” the country’s president said Wednesday.

“All the terrorists have been eliminated,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said in announcing an end to the overnight operation to secure the complex in the capital, Nairobi.

In a televised address, Kenyatta did not say how many attackers were involved. He said more than 700 people were evacuated during the security operation and urged Kenyans to “go back to work without fear,” saying the East African country is safe.

Sporadic gunfire could be heard while scores of people were rescued at daybreak during what police called a “mopping-up” exercise. A new blast was heard in the afternoon as witnesses said security forces were making a sweep of the complex for any explosives.

Surveillance video showed the attack that began Tuesday afternoon involved at least four armed men.

Al-Shabab — the extremist group allied to al-Qaida and based in neighboring Somalia — claimed responsibility for the carnage at the DusitD2 hotel complex, which includes bars, restaurants, offices and banks and is in Nairobi’s well-to-do Westlands neighborhood with many foreign expatriates. Al-Shabab carried out the 2013 attack at the nearby Westgate Mall in Nairobi that killed 67 people.

Most of the victims were Kenyans, a mortuary attendant said. The U.S. State Department confirmed that an American citizen was among the dead, and the company I-DEV International confirmed that its co-founder, Jason Spindler, had been killed. The British high commissioner in Kenya said at least one British national had been killed, without giving details.

Two local victims had been working on a fund to “bring peace and prosperity to Somalia through more than 100 local community initiatives,” the London-based Adam Smith International said of its employees.

Kenyan authorities sent special forces into the hotel to flush out the gunmen. Scores of people were rushed to safety in the early morning hours as explosions and gunfire continued.

“To God be the Glory. We have been rescued. Over 50 people in my group. No injuries,” tweeted a Kenyan businesswoman, Aggie Asiimwe Konde.

Describing the ordeal, Lucy Wanjiru said she had been trying to flee when she saw a woman on the ground floor get shot. She ended up in a washroom with several other scared people. Her friend Cynthia Kibe stayed in contact with her by phone overnight.

“I think I panicked when she told me that the gunshots are next to her,” Kibe said. “I had to keep telling her ‘Just wait, help is on the way, they are almost there, they are almost there.’ And then at one point she was like, ‘Please tell me I am getting out of here alive’ and then it was just like my breaking point.”

Mourning families and friends gathered at a nearby mortuary.

“I am a Muslim and I am Somali, I am Kenyan living here, and in that way I can assure you if al-Shabab found me today they call us what they call ‘Mortad’ (apostates), that is, someone who works against them and they wouldn’t differentiate me from yourself,” said Mohamed Yasin Jama, a friend of two colleagues killed.

The coordinated assault began with an explosion that targeted three vehicles outside a bank, and a suicide bombing in the hotel lobby that severely wounded a number of guests, said Kenya’s national police chief, Joseph Boinnet.

Kenyan hospitals appealed for blood donations even as the number of wounded remained unclear.

Associated Press video from inside the hotel showed Kenyan security officers searching the building and scared workers emerging from hiding while gunfire could be heard. Some climbed out a window by ladder. One man got up from the floor where he appeared to be trying to hide under a piece of wood paneling, then showed his ID.

Like the attack at the Westgate Mall, this one appeared aimed at wealthy Kenyans and foreigners. It came a day after a magistrate ruled that three men must stand trial in connection with the Westgate Mall siege.

Al-Shabab has vowed retribution against Kenya for sending troops to Somalia to fight it since 2011. Tuesday’s violence came three years to the day after al-Shabab extremists attacked a Kenyan military base in Somalia, killing scores of people.

The group has killed hundreds of people in Kenya. In the deadliest attack, al-Shabab claimed responsibility for an assault on Kenya’s Garissa University in 2015 that killed 147 people, mostly students.

The latest carnage demonstrated al-Shabab’s continued ability to carry out spectacular acts of bloodshed despite a dramatic increase in U.S. airstrikes against it under President Donald Trump.

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Associated Press writer Andrew Meldrum in Johannesburg contributed.

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Members of Kenyan special forces at the scene of an attach by an extremist gunman Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)
Members of Kenyan special forces at the scene of an attach by an extremist gunman Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)
Members of Kenyan special forces at the scene of an attach by an extremist gunman Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)
Members of Kenyan special forces at the scene of an attach by an extremist gunman Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)
Members of Kenyan special forces at the scene of an attach by an extremist gunmen Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)
Members of Kenyan special forces at the scene of an attach by an extremist gunmen Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)
A wounded member of Kenyan special forces is carried from a US embassy diplomatic vehicle into an ambulance by red cross paramedics at the scene Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)
A wounded member of Kenyan special forces is carried from a US embassy diplomatic vehicle into an ambulance by red cross paramedics at the scene Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)
Kenya Red Cross personnel helps a woman reacting after learning of a family member killed during a recent terrorist attack Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Brian Inganga)
Kenya Red Cross personnel helps a woman reacting after learning of a family member killed during a recent terrorist attack Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Brian Inganga)
An unidentified woman holds the hand of another as they console each other at the scene of a violent attack early Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
An unidentified woman holds the hand of another as they console each other at the scene of a violent attack early Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Unidentified women console each other at the scene of a violent attack early Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, in Nairobi, Kenya. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Unidentified women console each other at the scene of a violent attack early Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, in Nairobi, Kenya. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
A member of Kenyan special forces is helped out of a US embassy diplomatic vehicle by a paramedic at the scene Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
A member of Kenyan special forces is helped out of a US embassy diplomatic vehicle by a paramedic at the scene Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
A wounded member of Kenyan special forces with two tourniquets around his legs is carried from a US embassy diplomatic vehicle into an ambulance by paramedics at the scene Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
A wounded member of Kenyan special forces with two tourniquets around his legs is carried from a US embassy diplomatic vehicle into an ambulance by paramedics at the scene Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
A wounded member of Kenyan special forces is carried from a US embassy diplomatic vehicle into an ambulance by paramedics at the scene Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
A wounded member of Kenyan special forces is carried from a US embassy diplomatic vehicle into an ambulance by paramedics at the scene Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
A member of Kenyan special forces shouts at the media to go back after his wounded colleague was carried into an ambulance by paramedics at the scene Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
A member of Kenyan special forces shouts at the media to go back after his wounded colleague was carried into an ambulance by paramedics at the scene Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Kenyans read newspapers at the scene of the attack Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. Extremists stormed a luxury hotel in Kenya's capital on Tuesday, setting off thunderous explosions and gunning down people at cafe tables in an attack claimed by Africa's deadliest Islamic militant group. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Kenyans read newspapers at the scene of the attack Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. Extremists stormed a luxury hotel in Kenya’s capital on Tuesday, setting off thunderous explosions and gunning down people at cafe tables in an attack claimed by Africa’s deadliest Islamic militant group. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
A member of Kenyan special forces, center, gestures to his colleagues to move out, at the scene of the attack Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
A member of Kenyan special forces, center, gestures to his colleagues to move out, at the scene of the attack Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Kenyan security forces walk away from the hotel complex at the scene of the attack Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Kenyan security forces walk away from the hotel complex at the scene of the attack Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Media surround Kenya's Interior Minister Fred Matiang'i as he gives a statement at the scene of the attack Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Media surround Kenya’s Interior Minister Fred Matiang’i as he gives a statement at the scene of the attack Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Kenyan security forces walk from the scene as continued blasts and gunfire could be heard early Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Kenyan security forces walk from the scene as continued blasts and gunfire could be heard early Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Kenyan security forces walk from the scene as continued blasts and gunfire could be heard early Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Kenyan security forces walk from the scene as continued blasts and gunfire could be heard early Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
In this grab taken from security camera footage released to the local media, heavily armed attackers walk in the compound of a hotel, in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Jan. (Security Camera Footage via AP)
In this grab taken from security camera footage released to the local media, heavily armed attackers walk in the compound of a hotel, in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Jan. (Security Camera Footage via AP)
In this grab taken from security camera footage released to the local media, an armed attacker walks in the compound of a hotel, in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Jan. (Security Camera Footage via AP)
In this grab taken from security camera footage released to the local media, an armed attacker walks in the compound of a hotel, in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Jan. (Security Camera Footage via AP)
Civilians flee as security forces aim their weapons at the buildings of a hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)
Civilians flee as security forces aim their weapons at the buildings of a hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)
Civilians flee the scene at a hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. An upscale hotel complex in Kenya's capital came under attack on Tuesday, with a blast and heavy gunfire. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Civilians flee the scene at a hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. An upscale hotel complex in Kenya’s capital came under attack on Tuesday, with a blast and heavy gunfire. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Security forces walk to the scene as continued blasts and gunfire could be heard early Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Security forces walk to the scene as continued blasts and gunfire could be heard early Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Security forces help civilians flee the scene as cars burn behind, at a hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Security forces help civilians flee the scene as cars burn behind, at a hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Associated Press video from inside a Nairobi hotel during an extremist attack shows Kenyan security officers anxiously searching the building and scared workers emerging from hiding places while gunfire is heard. (Jan. 15)
Associated Press video from inside a Nairobi hotel during an extremist attack shows Kenyan security officers anxiously searching the building and scared workers emerging from hiding places while gunfire is heard. (Jan. 15)

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