A total of 147 people were killed in an attack, led by the Al-Qaeda linked Somalia-based Al-Shabaab militant group, on a Kenyan University. The 15-hour siege finally ended when security forces killed all 4 of the al-Shabaab militants who carried out the attack.
The disaster agency earlier reported as many as 79 people were wounded, at least 9 critically, and said 587 students out of the 815 students in the school had been rescued, and all students have been accounted for.
Islamist gunmen burst into the Kenyan university before dawn Thursday during a Christian service, shooting students and taking hostages during the early morning prayer services.
They took hostages from the service and then “proceeded to the hostels, shooting anybody they came across except their fellows, the Muslims,” according to Joel Ayora, who was on the campus and witnessed the attack.
At one point, the attackers cornered a building in which 360 students live, but some of the students escaped. Terrified students, some young men shirtless and some un-clothed women, ran out of their dormitories screaming, as police arrived after over an hour of chaos.
The attackers separated students by religion, allowing Muslims to leave and keeping an unknown number of Christians hostage. The students at Garissa are predominantly non-Muslim.
Collins Wetangula, the vice chairman of the student union, said when the gunmen arrived at his dormitory he could hear them opening doors and asking if the people who had hidden inside whether they were Muslims or Christians.
“If you were a Christian you were shot on the spot,” he said. “With each blast of the gun I thought I was going to die.”
The gunmen were in one of four residential buildings, and Kenyan forces cleared three of four dormitories and had cornered the militants in the last one before finishing them off. The terrorists had strapped themselves with explosives, so when officers shot at them, the gunmen exploded and bomb fragments injured officers.
Kenyan police were offering a $220,000 bounty for Mohammed Mohamud, also known as Dulyadin and Gamadhere, who they believe is the mastermind of the attack.
— InteriorCNG Ministry (@InteriorKE) April 2, 2015