147 Dead in College Terror Attack: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know



Masked gunmen launched a deadly attack on a Kenyan university near the country’s border with Somalia.

Heavy gunfire and explosions were heard on the campus of the Garissa University College early on Thursday morning killing 147 people, CNN reports. About 80 others were injured in the siege.

All four terrorists were killed, officials said. CNN reported 500 students were accounted for, of the 815 at the school.

Witnesses spoke of the gunmen firing indiscriminately. The Al-Shabaab militant group has taken responsibility for the attack. The attack targeted Christians and other non-Muslims at the school.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. The Gunmen Struck in the Early Hours During Morning Prayers


Witnesses told local media in Kenya that the attackers struck at about 5 a.m. local time during morning prayers at the university mosque.

The gunmen surrounded the mosque and then ran through student dorms, shooting at sleeping students.

Witness, Alinoor Moulid, spoke to the BBC  of “intense gunfire and explosions”, adding: “According to the students who fled, the gunmen were indiscriminate in their attack, they were shooting everyone on sight.”

“The attackers went into the girl’s hostel which is when they took the hostel over,” a Red Cross official said, according to The Independent. “Forces responded and took over the operation and they have locked down the campus.

“According to local county government officials on the ground, we have 30 casualties, who have been taken to hospital. Four of them are very serious and most of the casualties have gunshot injuries.”

2. Two University Guards Manning the Gate Were First to be Shot Dead


Kenya has faced a series of attacks involving Somalian extremists (Getty)

Kenya’s National Police Service said armed militants shot two guards to get onto the campus, triggering a “fierce shootout.”

The attackers still managed to get inside one of the student hostels and some students remain trapped inside.

Police and military forces say they were trying to “flush out” gunmen from the campus.

3. Somali Al-Shabaab Terrorists Are Believed to be Behind the Attack



The Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab has been responsible for a string of violent attacks in Kenya which it claims are retribution for Kenya sending troops into Somalia. The border with Somalia is about 90 miles from the university.

The government has named Mohamed Kuno as the mastermind behind the attack, issuing a reward for his capture.

4. The Same Terror Group Killed 67 People at the Westgate Shopping Center in Nairobi in September 2013



On Sept. 21, 2013, gunmen attacked the upmarket Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. The attack, which lasted three days, resulted in at least 67 deaths, including four attackers. Over 175 people were reportedly wounded in the mass slaughter.

Al-Shabaab later claimed responsibility for the incident, which it characterized as retribution for thes deployment in Somalia.

5. The Gunmen Were Killed After Taking Hostages


Officials said the gunmen were all killed. They had taken hostages inside the school.

The BBC’s Anne Soy in Nairobi said that because of its proximity to Somalia, Garissa is an easy target for al-Shabab militants and there have been several attacks in the past.

She says that the UK and Australia issued alerts this week warning of potential terror attacks in parts of the country, including Garissa.