, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 2 – Somalia’s Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for Thursday’s terror attack at the Garissa University College that left at least 20 dead and scores injured.
Al Shabaab Spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage was quoted by Agence France Presse (AFP) saying the attack was a response to Kenya’s military intervention in war-ravaged Somalia.
“Kenya is at war with Somalia… our people are still there, they are fighting and their mission is to kill those who are against the Shabaab,” AFP reported Rage as saying.
He also confirmed, at the time he spoke to the news agency, that their agents had indeed taken students hostage.
“When our men arrived, they released some people, the Muslims, and it is they that alerted the government… we are holding the others hostage,” he was quoted saying.
According to Rage, those who were killed were selected because they were non-Muslim.
He did not however give an estimate of how many they had hit with their explosives and gunfire but boasted, “there are very many.”
Kenyan authorities have placed a Sh20 million bounty on Mohamed Mohamud, alias Dulyadin alias Gamadhere’s head as he is believed to be the mastermind of Thursday’s attack.
The Ministry of Interior also claimed to have killed two terrorists believed to have taken part in the attack and arrested one.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said additional security forces, led by his newly appointed Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet and Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery, had also been dispatched to the area to help arrest the situation.
“We continue to pray for the quick recovery of the injured and the safe rescue of those still being held hostage,” he said in a televised address from State House.
He also announced the recruitment of 10,000 to the police force, in contravention of a court order, putting Thursday’s attack down to an overstretched police force.
Thursday’s attack was reminiscent of the September 2013 Westgate mall attack and the second such mass murder incident since the Mpeketoni killings of June, 2014.