GARISSA, Kenya, Apr 3 – Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery on Friday vowed that the country would not bow to terrorist threats, a day after the massacre of 147 students by Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab fighters.
“Kenya’s government will not be intimidated by the terrorists who have made killing innocent people a way to humiliate the government,” Nkaissery told reporters, speaking in front of the university campus in the northeastern town of Garissa.
“The government is determined to fight back the terrorists, and I am confident we shall win this war against our enemies.”
Somalia’s Shabaab fighters carried out the attack, with all four of the gunmen detonating suicide vests after killing 147 people in the day-long seige.
Bodies still lay around the campus on Friday, as teams worked to collect all those killed, while troops checked the campus was safe after the day long battle.
“Our security officers are mopping up the college, to ensure it is safe for students to come back to secure their documents and other property,” Nkaissery said, adding that the college had “closed indefinitely.”
Hundreds of students — many of whom escaped with little more than the clothes they were sleeping in when the gunmen attacked just before dawn — spent Thursday night at nearby military barracks, where they were fed and given clothes by the community in Garissa.
Several buses were due to transport the traumatised students back to their home areas, while the bodies of those killed were being flown back to the capital Nairobi.
A huge crowd of shocked survivors and relatives of some of those killed gathered at the gates of the university in Kenya’s northeastern town of Garissa, and AFP reporter at the scene said.
Dozens of family members also gathered Friday at the Chiromo mortuary to identify their relatives.
The university siege marks the worst attack on Kenyan soil since the 1998 bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi by Al-Qaeda, when 213 people were killed by a huge truck bomb.
The Shabaab also carried out the Westgate shopping mall massacre in Nairobi in September 2013 when four gunmen killed at least 67 people in a four-day siege.