UNITED NATIONSThe U.N. Security Council has approved a surge of African Union troops to fight al-Shabab militants in Somalia, on the same day the terrorist group demanded troops leave.
The council voted unanimously Tuesday to authorize almost 4,400 more African Union troops and massive U.N. assistance to break the stalemate in Somalia, where top U.N. officials say the war against Islamic militants has "ground to a halt."The council authorized an African Union force of 22,126 troops, up from 17,731. The surge is meant to provide a short-term enhancement to the force known as AMISOM. After 18 to 24 months, the U.N. wants to hand over the fighting to the Somali army and send a U.N. peacekeeping mission to replace the AU force.
The resolution also approves 12 new military helicopters from troop-contributing countries.
Meanwhile, the group that carried out the assault on Nairobi's Westgate Mall says the attackers were part of the group's suicide squad.
Al-Shabab released a propaganda magazine online Tuesday devoted to September's four-day siege on Westgate that killed at least 67 people.
Al-Shabab reiterated that it would carry out more attacks in Kenya unless Kenyan troops withdraw from Somalia.
The group said the attackers never expected to make it out alive, rebuffing a claim from a Kenyan police official that the attackers had tried to flee the mall.
Mall surveillance video shows four gunmen carried out the mall attack. Only two attackers' real names are known so far. Kenyan officials said that the attackers' remains were found in the mall's rubble but no confirmation has yet been made public.