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Dublin: 9 °C Sunday 26 January, 2020
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Survivors say laughing gunmen taunted victims of brutal university massacre

The Pope has condemned the killings as “senseless brutality”.

Kenya Red Cross staff help a woman after she viewed the body of a relative killed in yesterday's attack on a university
Kenya Red Cross staff help a woman after she viewed the body of a relative killed in yesterday's attack on a university
Image: AP/Press Association Images

A GATHERING WILL take place at the Embassy of Kenya on Elgin Road in Ballsbridge, Dublin at 2pm today to show solidarity with Kenyan people after yesterday’s shocking massacre.

147 people were killed after gunmen staged a pre-dawn attack on a university in the town of Garissa. Students were sleeping at the time of the attack.

AP reported that the extremists targeted a site where Christians had gone to pray. One student told AP that Christians were targeted during the incident.

The siege ended after four gunmen were killed by gunfire. One suspect was reportedly arrested. Survivors and relatives have been gathering at the university, searching for information.

Shehab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage said the killings were in revenge for the presence of Kenyan troops in Somalia as part of the African Union’s force supporting the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu, AFP reports.

The country’s government said it would not be “intimidated” by the attacks.

Pools of blood

Kenya University Attack A woman gestures after she viewed the body of a relative killed in Thursday's attack Source: AP/Press Association Images

Survivors told AFP that there were “piles of bodies and pools of blood running down the corridors”.

They also described how laughing gunmen taunted their victims amid scenes of total carnage.

Salias Omosa, an 20-year-old education student, said the victims were woken up at gunpoint, and Muslims and non-Muslims picked out by “how they were dressed”:

‘We don’t fear death, this will be a good Easter holiday for us,’ the attackers were shouting in Swahili, then shooting their guns.

Omosa managed to escape amid the carnage at Garissa University, after seeing two of his friends executed by the Al-Qaeda-linked attackers, who he said were wearing masks and military-style uniforms.

Kenya University Attack Source: AP/Press Association Images

“I have seen many things, but nothing like that,” said Reuben Nyaora, a clinical officer working for the aid agency International Rescue Committee (IRC).

There were bodies everywhere in execution lines, we saw people whose heads had been blown off, bullet wounds everywhere, it was a grisly mess.

He said that there were soldiers being shot in front of them.

Then when we went into the halls, it was too horrible, too awful to imagine, and yet we saw it.
Everyone seemed dead, but then as we talked, some students who had been hidden for hours came out – some from wardrobes, others from the ceiling, and then others who had lain down with the dead, covered in blood, hidden among their friends who had been killed.

Kenya University Attack Kenyan Muslims demonstrate against Thursday's attack Source: AP/Press Association Images

Amuna Geoffreys, a second year teaching student, was at a Christian prayer meeting when the shooting began, running to hide in a bush. But he could hear the chilling threats of the gunmen talking to colleagues just inside through a window.

As Geoffreys lay in terrified silence, the gunmen inside made his friends call their parents, to blame their imminent deaths on President Uhuru Kenyatta for having Kenyan troops in Somalia fighting the Shebab.

The killers demanded people to call home and then say: We are dying, because Uhuru has remained defiant to stay in Somalia’.
After they called their parents, there were shots, and then silence.

Counting the cost

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said its medical team is providing support to the Kenyan Ministry of Health at Garissa Hospital.

MSF is treating survivors of the attack suffering from gunshot and blast wounds, as well people who received cuts from shattered glass during their escape.

Charles Gaudry, Head of Mission for MSF in Kenya said:

So far, [the team] have treated more than 70 wounded patients. They are helping with triage, providing emergency care, and are supporting the surgical ward.

The MSF team consists of one doctor, three nurses, five clinical officers, one operating theatre nurse and two logisticians.

Since this morning, MSF has also been providing medical care at Garissa airport, to where hundreds of students were evacuated and spent the night. MSF is also distributing water and food.

Kenya University Attack Kenya Red Cross staff assist a woman after she viewed the body of a relative Source: AP/Press Association Images

The students are expected to be transported to Nairobi in the coming hours by the Kenyan authorities, said MSF.

“The situation is extremely difficult, and the students are in a lot of shock,” said Dr Bashir Abdiweli, who is coordinating MSF’s response in Garissa.

We are mainly treating injuries sustained when they escaped the site. A few were referred to the hospital, and we are referring many others for post traumatic counselling.

Meanwhile, Pope Francis has condemned in a telegram the “senseless brutality” of the incident.

- Additional reporting AFP

Read: 147 killed after gunmen stage pre-dawn attack on Kenyan university>

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