The death toll in the grisly terrorist attack at the sprawling campus of the Garissa University College in Kenya early Thursday has risen to 147, reports CNN. According to the report, Kenyan security forces have also managed to kill four terrorists who had gunned down many of the students on the campus and held several of them hostage. According to Joseph Nkaissery from the Kenyan Interior Ministry, the operation to flush out the terrorists from the college campus has ended successfully.
The “operation has ended successfully” at Garissa University College. “It is a very sad day for Kenya,” he said.
Meanwhile, Somali terrorist organization Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack, a BBC report confirmed.
Earlier in the day, there were reports of over 500 students being unaccounted for following the attack. Hours later, there was confirmation from Kenya’s National Disaster Operation Center’s Twitter account which confirmed that a total of 147 individuals — mostly young students — were killed in the attack.
UPDATE: 147 fatalities confirmed in the Garissa Attack. Plans are underway to evacuate students and other affected persons.
— Disaster Operations (@NDOCKenya) April 2, 2015
The Twitter account added that plans are being made to evacuate other students who are still on campus. All the staff members from the college have been accounted for. The Garissa University College had 815 students enrolled.
The death toll of 147 makes the latest terrorist attack on Kenya even bigger than the Westgate Shopping center attack in Nairobi that killed 67 people. In order to prevent any further untoward incidents, local police officials have imposed curfew in the area from 6:30 p.m to 6:30 a.m. In an earlier report, the Inquisitr reported that at least 15 people were killed in the attack. The death toll has increased significantly since that story broke.
Meanwhile, it has now been established that the Islamic gunmen stormed the campus before dawn — just as several students were about to attend the morning prayer services. They killed the four guards manning the campus gates, went inside the campus and starting firing indiscriminately at the students. Several students were able to escape — but many others weren’t lucky. According to a witness, Joel Ayora, who was on the campus when the attack happened, the terrorists, once inside the hostels, made sure that they only shot and killed non-Muslims. According to Ayora, the gunmen barged into a Christian service and took several hostages from there and then “proceeded to the hostels, shooting anybody they came across except their fellows, the Muslims.”
The fact that the gunmen targeted non-Muslims only was confirmed by French News agency AFP.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has condemned the attack.
“This is a moment for everyone throughout the country to be vigilant as we continue to confront and defeat our enemies.”
The Kenyan government has listed an individual known as Mohamed Mohamud, alias “Dulyadin,” alias “Gamadhere,” as the mastermind behind the attack and has released a sketch of the individual. They have also offered a reward of $215,000 to anyone who would help capture him.
— InteriorCNG Ministry (@InteriorKE) April 2, 2015
The horrendous attack on the Garissa University College in Kenya has striking resemblance to the Peshawar school attack in Pakistan that had left hundreds of schoolchildren dead in December of 2014.
[Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images]