At least 15 people were killed and 60 others wounded as Al-Shabab gunmen attacked a college in northeast Kenya early Thursday, targeting Christians. The president said the condition is now a hostage situation and a spokesman for al-Shabab confirmed responsibility for the ongoing attack.
Collins Wetangula, the vice chairman of the student union, said he was about to take a shower when he heard gunshots coming from one of the dormitories, which hosts both men and women, about 150 meters (yards) away. The campus has six dorms and at least 887 students, he said. He reportedly then locked himself and three roommates in their room.
“All I could hear were footsteps and gunshots nobody was screaming because they thought this would lead the gunmen to know where they are,” he said. “The gunmen were saying sisi ni al-Shabab (Swaihi for we are al-Shabab),” Wetangula said.
When the gunmen arrived at his dormitory he explained that they opened the doors asking if the people who had hidden inside were Muslims or Christians.
“If you were a Christian you were shot on the spot,” he said. “With each blast of the gun I thought I was going to die.”
“The next thing, we saw people in military uniform through the window of the back of our rooms who identified themselves as the Kenyan military,” Wetangula said.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in a speech to the nation, confirmed that hostages have been taken.
“I am saddened to inform the Nation that early today, terrorists attacked Garissa University College killed and wounded several people and have taken others hostage,” he said.
One suspected extremist was reportedly arrested as he attempted to flee the scene, Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery said at a press conference in Nairobi.