“If you were a Xtian you were shot on the spot”: horrific attack at Kenyan university
- Four gunmen from the Somali militant group al-Shabaab stormed a university in northeast Kenya on Thursday, in an attack that has left at least 147 people dead.
- Students said the attackers burst into their residential blocks at dawn and targeted non-Muslims. One survivor told the Associated Press: “If you were a Christian, you were shot on the spot.”
- All four gunmen have been shot dead by Kenyan security forces after a siege that lasted nearly 15 hours.
The gunmen targeted non-Muslim students
The four militants entered Garissa University College, around 90 miles from the border with Somalia, at around 5:30 a.m. They headed for the students’ residential blocks and took hostages.
“We sorted people out and released the Muslims,” Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabaab’s military operations spokesman, told Reuters .
One student, Collins Wetangula, told the AP that when the militants entered his hostel he could hear them opening doors and asking if the people 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 said.
Along with the 147 killed, officials said 79 people had been injured, according to the BBC.
This is the worst terror attack in Kenya since the 1998 US embassy bombing
There hasn’t been an attack this deadly since the embassy bombing in Nairobi, in which 213 people lost their lives.
Kenya has been hit by a wave of grenade and gun attacks since Nairobi deployed troops in neighboring Somalia in 2011 to fight the al-Shabaab insurgents, who are linked to Al-Qaeda. Many of these attacks have been blamed on al-Shabaab or its sympathizers.
Until today, al-Shabaab’s most high-profile attack was its four-day siege at Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall. That incident, in September 2013, left at least 67 people dead.
Since then, there have been numerous other attacks, including the massacre of dozens of bus passengers in November. The Islamist group separated the passengers according to religion, murdering 28 non-Muslims.
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