Kenyan Universality Shooting: 15 confirmed dead
Kenyan authorities have confirmed the deaths of 15 people after Islamic militant group, al-Shabaab, opened fire on a university on Thursday morning.
According to reports, an unknown number of armed men stormed the gates of the Garissa University College in the early hours, before letting off a barrage of gunfire and hurling grenades while many of the students were still sleeping.
Local news network, Citizen TV, reported that around 550 students of the 815 students were unaccounted for and that the dead were mostly Christians. It has also been stated that most of those missing are believed to have been taken captive with the university being located 145 kilometres from the Somalian border.
AFP reports that the attackers first separated students based on their religion with Muslims being allowed to live and Christians taken hostage, of which the exact number has not yet been determined.
“We were sleeping when we heard a loud explosion that was followed by gunshots and everyone started running for safety,” student Japhet Mwala was quoted by CNN as saying.
“There are those who were not able to leave the hostels where the gunmen headed and started firing. I am lucky to be alive because I jumped through the fence with other students”.
In an interview with Sky News, Student Union Vice Chairman Collins Wetangula, said he was about to take shower when the shots started.
“All I could hear were footsteps and gunshots; nobody was screaming because they thought this would lead the gunmen to know where they are.
“The gunmen were saying sisi ni al-Shabab (we are al-Shabab). If you were a Christian you were shot on the spot. With each blast of the gun I thought I was going to die”.
Writing in a statement on his Facebook page, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, said that the number of casualties and the exact details would be announced soon, and that matter has been directed to the Inspector-General of Police.
“I also assure the Nation that my Government has undertaken appropriate deployment to the affected area, and is fully seized of the situation,” he said.
“I also urge Kenyans to stay calm as we resolve this matter, and to provide the authorities with any information they may have in connection with any threats to our security. This is a moment for everyone throughout the country to be vigilant as we continue to confront and defeat our enemies”.
He also stated that the country has “suffered unnecessarily due to shortage of security personnel” which he takes full responsibly for.
CAPTION: Kenyan military forces outside the university's gate IMAGE sourced from telegraph.co.uk
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