The Kenyan Interior Ministry says at least 70 people have been killed at a university in eastern Kenya where Al Shabab militants have been holding students hostage. They targeted mainly Christians. The president said the condition is now a hostage situation and a spokesman for al-Shabab confirmed responsibility for the ongoing attack.
About 500 students have been rescued. Security forces are at the university, in Garissa, and screams and gunshots have been heard but it’s unclear whether the siege is now over.
The government says four of the attackers are among the dead. A dusk-to-dawn curfew has been imposed in Garissa and three other regions near the border with Somalia.
The militants stormed University College in the early hours of today,Thursday the 2nd of April 2015. Collins Wetangula, the vice chairman of the student union, said he was about to take a shower when he heard gunshots coming from one of the dormitories, which hosts both men and women, about 150 meters (yards) away. The campus has six dorms and at least 887 students, he said. He reportedly then locked himself and three roommates in their room.
“All I could hear were footsteps and gunshots nobody was screaming because they thought this would lead the gunmen to know where they are,” he said. “The gunmen were saying sisi ni al-Shabab (Swaihi for we are al-Shabab),” Wetangula said.
When the gunmen arrived at his dormitory he explained how they opened the doors asking if the people who had hidden inside were Muslims or Christians.
“If you were a Christian you were shot on the spot, with each blast of the gun I thought I was going to die.” he added.
“The next thing, we saw people in military uniform through the window of the back of our rooms who identified themselves as the Kenyan military,” Wetangula said.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in a speech to the nation, confirmed that hostages have been taken.
“I am saddened to inform the Nation that early today, terrorists attacked Garissa University College killed and wounded several people and have taken others hostage,” he concluded.
Our prayers are with Kenya.
Source: BBC Africa