Desperate families search for missing loved ones as one of the gunmen in the al Shabaab terror attack is named.
Kenya has begun three days of mourning for the 148 people killed in the university massacre as one of the four gunmen is identified.
Students who survived the attack by militant group al Shabaab have been reunited with their families.
One survivor, Cynthia Cheroitich, 19, told how she hid from gunmen by covering herself with clothes in a wardrobe.
She was found by security forces two days after the attack at Garissa University College, as medical staff carried out the grim task of dealing with victims’ bodies, Sky News reports. Another 19-year-old student, Daniel Machache, smeared blood over his body and pretended he was dead to survive the sla Add Mediaughter. Survivors were taken on government buses to the Nyayo National Stadium, which has been turned into a disaster centre. Many relatives at the stadium desperately tried to trace their loved ones and find out if they were dead, injured or simply missing. Thursday’s attack, in the northeastern town of Garissa, close to the Somalia border, left 142 students, three police officers and three soldiers dead.
Four gunmen strapped with explosives stormed the campus and singled out non-Muslim students to be murdered. The interior ministry identified one of the terrorists as Abdirahim Abdullahi, the son of a Kenyan government official. The father had reported to security agents that his son had disappeared from home … and was helping the police try to trace his son by the time the Garissa terror attack happened,” a spokesman said. The government has defended its response to the one-day siege as it emerged Kenyan special forces were not deployed to the university for at least seven hours.
“This is negligence on a scale that borders on the criminal,” Kenya’s popular Nation newspaper wrote in its editorial on Sunday. It emphasised how survivors said “the gunmen, who killed scores of students with obvious relish, took their time”. Some journalists based in Nairobi drove 225 miles to Garissa and arrived before special forces, who flew there. Kenyans are dedicating Easter Sunday prayer services to the victims, marking the first of three days of national mourning. President Uhuru Kenyatta said the militants would face justice for the “mindless slaughter” and vowed to retaliate in the “severest way”. On Saturday, Somalia-based terror group al Shabaab warned of a “long, gruesome war” unless Kenya withdraws its troops from Somalia.
Hours after the warning, crowds gathered in Garissa as police paraded the gunmen’s bodies in the back of a pick-up truck. Officers said it was to see whether anyone could identify the terrorists, who were piled up face down in the vehicle. Some onlookers threw stones at the bodies as they passed. In Nairobi’s ethnic Somali district, demonstrators took to the streets protesting against al Shabaab and calling for unity in the country. Five people have been arrested over the attack, including three “coordinators” captured as they fled towards Somalia. The suspected mastermind, Mohamed Mohamud, a former teacher in Garissa, is still on the run.