Kenyan policemen secure the street near the scene where explosions and gunshots were heard at the Dusit hotel compound, in Nairobi, Kenya, January 16, 2019.
One private security professional at the scene said numerous explosions, especially those followed by a short burst of gunfire, were special forces using small charges to blow open locked doors and clear rooms.
After the carnage, President Uhuru Kenyatta assured citizens that "all the terrorists have been eliminated" and that it was safe to "go back to work without fear".
TRT World's Natasha Hussain has more.
The Kenyan government was reportedly warned that al-Shabaab was planning attacks around Christmas and the new year, The Guardian reported.
More than 700 people were evacuated to safety in the course of the attack, he added.
TRT World spoke to journalist Timothy Otieno for more from Nairobi.
Extremists launched a deadly attack on a luxury hotel in Kenya's capital Tuesday, sending people fleeing in panic as explosions and heavy gunfire reverberated through the complex.
Global coalitions have conducted airstrikes against al-Shabaab for years, and the US has stepped up drone attacks on the group under the administration of President Donald Trump.
"One of our colleagues went to the top of the building and his body was found there", he said.
The hotel was attacked by terrorists with grenades, guns, and a bomb.
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It was a tormented night for families of those trapped as they waited outside the hotel with sporadic gunfire ringing out, and the rescue of dozens of people at about 3:30am (00:30GMT).
A mortuary official told AFP 11 Kenyans and one Briton were known to have died. Two victims had not been identified.
Some ducked behind cars, screaming, while others took cover behind fountains and other features at the lush complex, which includes the DusitD2 hotel, along with bars, restaurants, banks and offices.
"We have no idea what is happening". Interview with Simon Crump produced by Jeanne Armstrong.
Security forces combed their way through the building where frightened workers had barricaded themselves inside. hiding under tables and chairs and in bathrooms.
He said a multi-agency special security team had made progress to regain control of the hotel where the gunmen are holed up.
Kenya's Red Cross said 50 people remained missing, raising the likelihood of a sharp rise in the death toll.
"When I peeped outside I saw a human leg which has been cut off".
Then the Kenyan police and military intervened and neutralized the terrorists.
The attack came a day after a magistrate ruled that three men must stand trial on charges they were involved in the Westgate Mall siege. "I am sure he gave them hell!", his brother Jonathan posted on Facebook.
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