09/23/2013 07:36 EDT | Updated 11/23/2013 05:12 EST

Former Kenya residents 'stunned' by Nairobi mall attack

The terror felt by people around the world watching an attack unfold at a mall in the Kenyan capital is especially unsettling for people who used to live and shop there.

Sixty-two people have been killed and scores of others injured after militants stormed Nairobi’s Westgate mall on Saturday. Two Canadians are among the dead.

The militant group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.

On Monday, Kenya’s interior minister Joseph Ole Lenku said that security forces had taken back the mall, though an unknown number of hostages are still being held.

“We can confirm that the hostages, almost all of them have been evacuated,” Lenku said.

But the operation to recover the mall and to end the attack is not over yet.

John and Roise Kariuki moved to Toronto about 15 years ago but had been back visiting in Nairobi just last month.

They say they are seeing a Nairobi on TV that they barely recognize.

“I was stunned to hear what is going on,” said John Kariuki.

Roise Kariuki said it is hard to believe what they are seeing and hearing.

Catherine Kilelu recently moved to Toronto from Nairobi and knows some of the victims of the attack.

Kilelu said the mall is popular with international visitors.

Click on the video above to see a full report from the CBC’s Jeff Semple.