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Arrests made in Kenyan university massacre

April 4, 2015

Al-Shabab's rampage at Garissa University in Kenya prompted outrage around the world. Washington has since offered counterterrorism support. A media report says five have been arrested in connection with the crime.

Soldiers pictured in Kenya
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo

The bodies of the students and security officers massacred by Somalia's al-Shabab Islamists in a Kenyan university have been flown to Nairobi, where desperate and grieving loved ones have been waiting.

Citing comments from Kenyan Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery, CNN reports that five people have been arrested as suspects connected with the attack.

World leaders continue to speak out against the murderous act. US President Barack Obama, whose father was Kenyan, called President Uhuru Kenyatta to offer condolences as well as US support. Counterterrorism cooperation will be on the agenda when the two leaders meet in Kenya in July, the White House said.

Pope Francis condemned the killings as "senseless brutality." The day-long siege of Garissa University was Kenya's deadliest attack since the 1998 bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi.

Indiscriminate killing

The attack started before dawn when gunmen strapped with explosives stormed the Garissa University College campus, some 200 km (120 miles) from the Somali border.

The attackers tossed grenades and sprayed bullets at cowering students, killing indiscriminately. But they later freed some Muslims and instead targeted Christian students during a siege that lasted about 15 hours.

The siege ended with four gunmen killed in a hail of gunfire, and one suspect reportedly arrested. At least 79 people were also wounded in the strike at the campus, which lies near the border with Somalia.

Officials have said the death toll may rise to above 150.

Students at Garissa University
Students are in shock at Garissa UniversityImage: Reuters/Herman Kariuki

At war with Kenya

Al-Shabab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage told pro-insurgent radio Andalus, "There will be no more safe place for Kenyans as long as their troops are in Somalia."

Kenya is participating in a 20,000-strong African Union force that is helping the Somali government battle al-Shabab. Rage threatened, "You will see more deadly attacks in your country, Kenya."

Just after the deadly siege, Kenya put up a 20 million shillings ($215,000) reward for the arrest of Mohamed Mohamud, a former Garissa teacher who is linked by Kenyan media to two separate al-Shabab attacks in the nearby Mandera region last year.

av/gsw (AFP, dpa, Reuters)