On Thursday, the campus of Garissa University, a college in northeast Kenya, was stormed by a group of Al-Shabab militants. Kenya’s Interior Minister, Joseph Nkaissery, told reporters that 147 people were killed along with four gunmen, and 79 people were wounded.
Nkaissery ordered a “dusk to dawn curfew” in Garissa, along with the neighboring counties of Mandera, Tana River and Wajir.
The Associated Press reported that Kenyan security officials on the scene said the gunfire has ended, dozens who were being held hostage by the militants have been freed, four suspected gunmen have been killed, and the death toll may be as high as 150.
According to the New York Times, Kenyan security forces surrounded the university’s campus, and spent the day clashing with the gunmen, who officials said were wearing “combat gear,” and “either bulletproof vests or suicide bomb vests,” before cornering them in a dormitory.
Mwenda Njoka, a spokesman for Kenya’s interior ministry posted a statement on Twitter warning that if anyone were to publish gory pictures from the attack, legal action would be taken against them:
— Ministry of Interior (@InteriorKE) April 2, 2015
The New York Times reported that the Somalia-based extremist group Al Shabab, “issued a statement through a radio station it controls claiming responsibility for the attack,” and said that when its fighters attacked the university early Thursday morning, they “began separating Muslims from non-Muslims” and started an “operation against the infidels.”
The Associated Press reported that while most of the 147 victims were students, two police officers, one soldier and two watchmen were also killed, making this the highest death toll in an attack by members of Al Shabab.