At Least 15 Killed as Hostage Crisis Unfolds at Kenya University

World | April 2, 2015, Thursday // 13:00|  views

A Kenyan soldier stands on top of a tank in front of Garissa University in Garissa town, located near the border with Somalia, some 370km northeast of the capital Nairobi, Kenya, 02 April 2015. Photo: EPA

Gunmen have killed at least fifteen people and taken students as hostages at Garissa University College in northeastern Kenya near the border with Somalia.

According to aid workers and police, about 30 people were injured as five masked gunmen stormed the building of the university, the BBC reports.

Troops have surrounded the university campus and are attempting to eject the Al-Shabaab militants, who have often attacked the Garissa region due to its proximity to Somalia.

The Somalia-based Islamist movement Al-Shabaab, which is part of al-Qaeda, has taken responsibility for the attack.

According to the Kenyan Red Cross, 50 students were “safely freed”, but an unknown number remained captives, while the police has not confirmed that hostages have been taken.

The police has reported that two guards were killed at the main gate of the university, while two policemen and a student were injured.

The university, which opened in 2011, has 900 students as it is the only higher education institution in the region.

Al-Shabaab has often targeted Kenya, its deadliest attack being carried out in the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi in September 2013, when 67 people were killed.

At the end of March, Al-Shabaab carried out a suicide attack and occupied a hotel in Mogadishu, which resulted in the death of 17 people.

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Tags: Kenya, Somalia, university, Garissa, hostage, attack, gunmen, Al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda, Westgate


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