2020 Pennsylvania Ave. NW #241
Washington, D.C. 20006
www.persecution.org | E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Contact: Troy, Augustine, Regional Manager for Africa RM-Africa@persecution.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
At Least 147 Killed. Fighting Continues.
International Christian Concern
At least 147 people were murdered and 79 wounded at Garissa University College in Garissa, Kenya today by the radical Islamist group, al-Shabaab. The attack started at after 5:00 a.m. local time during Muslim prayers. An unknown number of attackers separated the group according to their religion. The militants freed Muslim students and killed Christians.
Garissa University College student Collins Wetangula said the gunmen were hunting for Christians inside his dormitory. "If you were a Christian you were shot on the spot. With each blast of the gun I thought I was going to die. We started running and bullets were whizzing past our heads and the soldiers told us to dive." He also saida soldier told the students later that Al-Shabaab snipers were perched on a three story dormitory called the Elgon and were trying to shoot them.
Al-Shabaab's spokesman, Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, told Sky News, the group was targeting Christians. "We sorted people out and released the Muslims. There are many dead bodies of Christians inside the building. We are also holding many Christians alive. Fighting still goes on inside the college."
Kenyan national police said that the gunmen stormed past campus security at the main gate and began spraying bullets indiscriminately, "basically from all angles," blogger Robert Alai Onyango said. The gunshots started ringing "like fireworks" around 5 a.m., according to witness Milka N'dugu. Once inside buildings, gunmen reportedly ordered people to get on the floor, though some were able to escape to a nearby military building.
According to reports, all staff at the college of more than 800 students have been accounted for. Authorities remain unsure of how many attackers were involved, with some reports saying there were at least ten. CNN reports that four militants were killed.
University student Grace Kai said that authorities expected an attack was imminent. She claims that suspicious visitors were spotted in town earlier this week.
"Some strangers had been spotted in Garissa town and were suspected to be terrorists. Then on Monday our college principal told us that strangers had been spotted in our college. On Tuesdaywe were released to go home, and our college closed, but the campus remained in session, and now they have been attacked," Kai said.
The university sits within 100 miles of the Somali border. Garissa's proximity to Somalia makes it an easy target for al-Shabaab, which aims to impose Islamic Sharia law upon Kenya.
International Christian Concern's Regional Manager for Africa, Troy Augustine, said, "Al-Shabaab continues to display their ruthless, but cowardly, agenda by repeatedly targeting civilians with a special focus on Christians. Please pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in a land marked by constant threats to their lives and the free expression of their faith in Christ."
For interviews, contact Troy Augustine, Regional Manager for Africa: RM-Africa@persecution.org
# # #
You are free to disseminate this news story. We request that you reference International Christian Concern (ICC) and include our web address, www.persecution.org. ICC is a Washington D.C.-based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church. For additional information or for an interview, contact ICC at 800-422-5441.