Tragedy in Kenya

Terrorist attack in Kenya leaves 148 student killed and 79 injured

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Here, Garissa is highlighted on a map of Kenya

On Thursday, April 2nd, a brutal attack occurred in Garissa University College in Garissa, Kenya by a notorious militant group called Al-Shabaab (“The Youth”).

This multi-ethnic militant group is based in Somalia (bordering Garissa) and has murdered over two hundred people in Kenya in the past two years. However, what makes this particular tragedy stand out, is the fact that it was in a university setting, whereas most of Al-Shabaab’s previous atrocities had centered outside of urban areas.

A spokesman from Al-Shabaab said that their motive was strictly targeted at killing all non-Muslim students, explaining that the university was colonized by non-Muslims on Muslim grounds. They have also expressed their initiative based on the oppression that has fallen on the Muslim population by the Kenyan government.

In this specific attack, several gunmen from Al-Shabaab stormed into the university and commanded students to exit their dormitories and lay on the ground. Many students were taken hostage, and ultimately a shocking number of 148 students were murdered, and 79 were injured.

To make matters even worse, Kenyan police didn’t arrive on the scene until eleven hours following the start of the massacre. This incredibly slow help was not a surprise to many of the students, as they already hadn’t felt guarded or safe with their watch, and had only months before had protested to gain more security.

Uhuru Kenyatta, the president of Kenya, addressed the country to say “I urge every Kenyan, every church and every local leader to speak up for our unity and ensure that our justified anger does not spill over and lead to the victimization of anyone,” he said. “This would only play into the hands of the terrorists…Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance” and said “the radicalization that breeds terrorism” is conducted “in the full glare of day.” (VOANEWS.com).

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