Breaking: Al-Shabaab takes Christian students hostage, kills 15 at Kenya University
Update: the death toll from the Al-Shabaab attack has grown to nearly 150. 4 attackers were killed during an operation by the Kenyan authorities. Dozens more were injured and hundreds are still unaccounted for in the rampage by terrorists. Kenyan authorities say that 500 people were rescued.
The terrorist group Al-Shabaab – an al-Qaeda affiliate – says it is holding Christian students “alive” after the group attacked Garissa University in Eastern Kenya and killed 15 on Thursday.
“There are many dead bodies of Christians inside the building. We are also holding many Christians alive. Fighting still goes on inside the college.” Al-Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab
Kenyan security forces are currently trying to rout the terrorists from a dorm at the school. The terrorists reportedly went door to door asking if the students were Muslim or Christian. the terrorist started shooting “on the spot” if the answer was Christian. Any they did not shoot they took hostage. Most of the hostages are women.
According to Fox News,
Michael Bwana, a 20-year-old student who fled the attack, said he and other survivors have been trying to call their trapped friends but their phones are switched off. Either the students turned off their phones for their own safety or the gunmen have seized the handsets, he said.
“Most of the people still inside there are girls,” Bwana said, referring to the student dormitory in which gunmen are believed to be holding an unknown number of students.
A spokesman for the terror group told the BBC that it attacked the school because “it’s on Muslim land colonized by non-Muslims.”
The spokesman also said the gunmen had separated non-Muslims from Muslims and had freed 15 of the latter group.
The BBC wrote,
The gunmen reportedly ordered students at Garissa College University to lie down on the floor, but some of them escaped.
“It was horrible, there was shooting everywhere,” student Augustine Alanga told the BBC’s Newsday programme.
He said it was “pathetic” that the university was only guarded by two police officers.
Student Collins Wetangula said when the gunmen entered his hostel he could hear them opening doors and asking if the people who had hidden inside were Muslims or Christians, AP news agency reports.
“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.
Numerous students ran barefoot through the campus to escape. The Kenyan military arrived and escort some 20 of the students to safety. Hundreds are still unaccounted for, possibly trapped in the buildings.
This is a fluid situation and there will be more updates.