Classes at Garissa University have resumed nine months after a gruesome al-Shabab terror attack killed 148 people, mostly students. Only around 20 students came to the first day of class.
Amid tight security roughly 20 students on Monday returned to classes, a tiny fraction of the nearly 800 students who attended the eastern Kenyan university before the terror attack left 148 people dead.
The April 2 attack carried out by the Somali al-Shabab terror group was the deadliest to hit the east African nation since the 1998 bombing on the US embassy in Nairobi.
Four al-Shabab gunmen went on a rampage through the university and lined up non-Muslims students for execution. All the gunmen were killed in a commando raid and five suspected accomplices are currently on trial.
At the time, President Uhuru Kenyatta called the attack a "barbaric medieval slaughter."
After the university closed nearly 650 students were transferred to the University of Eldoret in western Kenya and many others left to other universities.
Most of the students in class on Monday were locals, but university officials hope that students from outside of Garissa will also return.
A new police post has been built within the university and a perimeter fence is planned.
Al Qaeda's franchise in Somalia, al-Shabab, has been waging war against the internationally recognized government in Mogadishu, which is supported by an African Union mission that includes Kenyan forces.
Al-Shabab has carried out several deadly terror attacks in Kenya, including one that killed 67 people at the Westgate Mall in 2013. The militants say they target Kenya for its role in the African Union mission.
Kenyan authorities last month warned the country could face further attacks after some factions within al-Shabab reportedly pledged allegiance to the so-called "Islamic State," al-Qaeda's main rival in the global jihadist movement.
cw/ng (AFP, epd)