A Kenya Defense Force soldier stops a boy from moving in the direction where attackers are holding up at a campus in Garissa on Thursday (April 2, 2015). At least 14 people were killed on Thursday when Islamist militant group al Shabaab stormed the Kenyan university campus, taking Christians hostage and engaging security forces in a shootout for several hours. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Noor Khamis *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-KENYA-ATTACK, originally transmitted on April 2, 2015.

At least 147 killed, hundreds rescued in Kenyan university attack that targeted Christians

A Kenya Defense Force soldier stops a boy from moving in the direction where attackers are holding up at a campus in Garissa on Thursday (April 2, 2015). At least 14 people were killed on Thursday when Islamist militant group al Shabaab stormed the Kenyan university campus, taking Christians hostage and engaging security forces in a shootout for several hours. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Noor Khamis *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-KENYA-ATTACK, originally transmitted on April 2, 2015.

A Kenya Defense Forces soldier stops a boy from moving in the direction where attackers were holed up at a university campus in Garissa on Thursday (April 2, 2015). Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Noor Khamis
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-KENYA-ATTACK, originally transmitted on April 2, 2015.


 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) Somalia’s al-Shabab militants shot and killed more than 147 people, wounded dozens of others and held hundreds hostage Thursday (April 2) at Garissa University College in northeastern Kenya.

Five hundred of the hostages were reportedly rescued as the day went on, but it was unclear immediately whether the standoff had ended and exactly what the death and injury toll was.

The gunmen reportedly arrived at the university at 5:30 a.m., killed the guards at the gate and began shooting indiscriminately before taking hundreds of students hostage. The Kenyan military tried to end the siege and rescued hundreds of the hostages during a shootout.

Most of the hostages are believed to be Christians.

“It is very sad that this attack is happening during the Easter festivities,” said Roman Catholic Bishop Joseph Alessandro, who is based in the town of Garissa, where the attack occurred.

“Most of the students in the college are not from here, they are not Somali, and they are not Muslims,” he added.

More than 80 percent of Kenyans are Christian. But in northeastern Kenya, nearly 90 percent are Muslim.

President Uhuru Kenyatta urged Kenyans to remain calm as the government worked to resolve the siege.

The Muslim militant group al-Shabab took responsibility for the attack, according to Agence France–Presse, and confirmed it had taken non-Muslims hostage.

“When our men arrived, they released Muslims. We are holding others hostage,” AFP quoted Ali Mohamud Rage, an al-Shabab spokesman, as saying.

The university, the only academy of higher learning in the region, opened in 2011 and has a student population of about 800.

In December, 64 Christians were killed in Mandera town, further north of Garissa, in two separate incidents. The gunmen spared Muslims but shot Christians at close range.

In September 2013, al-Shabab attacked the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, killing 67 people and wounding 175. Those who could recite the Quran were spared.

Al-Shabab was launched in Somalia in 2006 with the aim of establishing a government led by Shariah. Recently, it spread in East Africa, establishing networks across the region.

 (Tonny Onyulo of USA Today contributed to this report.)

YS/MG END NZWILI

Comments

  1. In the face of this horrible tragedy, the bishop’s main thought is how this will mar the Christian holiday, and not how horrible this tragedy is regardless of the date it happened on? Shameful. And people there wonder why the gunmen saw religion as more important than lives.

  2. “It is very sad that this attack is happening during the Easter festivities,” said Roman Catholic Bishop Joseph Alessandro, who is based in the town of Garissa, where the attack occurred.

    The point of the attack.

    I wonder what will happen in the States …

  3. And the US is in tatters because Gays can’t get a wedding cake. Nice priorities……..

  4. I remember Holy Week in the Greek Orthodox Church in 2010 (the States), I tried getting on the church website and two other Orthodox information sites and couldn’t. Others had trouble also so I knew it wasn’t just on my end. Someone asked the priest what was causing this, and he said, “Pure evil.”

  5. “It is very sad that this attack is happening during the Easter festivities,” said Roman Catholic Bishop Joseph Alessandro”

    Ugh. The inhumanity of religion.

    Ayan Hirsi Ali has said that she lost her Muslim faith after 9/11 when she shockingly discovered that her religion endorsed mass murder.

    Ever since then Ms. Ali has traveled the world speaking up to Muslims (and Christians) that Religion ITSELF is the cancer killing off humanity.

    Religion must be abandoned. None of it is peaceful. None of it is good.

    “Slay them” – Allah (Surah 9.22)
    “Execute them” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)
    “Kill them in daylight” – Yahweh (Deuteronomy)

    Three is no religion of peace.

  6. the conservative “Christians” in the US preach hated for Muslims every day with lies and false claims orf religious persecution, they would glady kill every Muslim if given the chance. these pople circulate such trash as”Mislims want to cut off your head” at every opportunity, circulate lies of Sharia law, to scare the ignorant- and it works’. they demand Muslim churches (Mosques) be destroyed, and wonder why they are targeted in other nations.
    what you sew- so shall you reap.

  7. geri you haven’t been reading the news have you? Thus far Christians have been eradicated and destroyed in parts of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Egypt, Lebanon, Northern Africa, etc. because they are Christians. Thus far the Muslim extremists, have murdered, starved & burned to death hundreds of thousands of Christians in the middle east over the past 4 years. They have destroyed churches, turned many into mosques, stolen children, and the list goes on. You should read up on the wonderful works of Islam that much of the national media suppresses. As Christians we pray for our enemies; however, we also pray the God ends the massacre. But Christians will certainly defend themselves; the Church does believe in the Just War concept. However, when you are a minority in those countries, you don’t stand a chance, unless the USA or other, comes in to help. But of course, we have ZerObama, and he is probably a closet Muslim, so don’t expect him to help.

  8. Greg,

    “Christians have been eradicated and destroyed in parts of Iraq, Syria….”

    DUH!

    OF COURSE MUSLIMS ARE KILLING CHRISTIANS!
    ALLAH TELLS THEM TO!

    ALL NON MUSLIMS ARE INFIDELS!

    “SLAY THE INFIDEL WHEREVER YOU FIND THEM” – ALLAH (Surah 9:22)

    And why did Mohammed write these words in 600 C.E.?
    Because Christians had already been following their own Holy Book for a few hundred years:

    “BRIING TO ME THOSE ENEMIES OF MINE AND EXECUTE THEM IN FRONT OF ME” – JESUS (LUKE 19:27)

    KILLING IS WHAT RELIGION IS ALL ABOUT!

    If you join a violent army you have to expect war from other violent armies.
    Your priest lies to you if he tells you Christianity isn’t just another violent army.

  9. Graciously, those who have lost their lives because of these violent acts from wicked ones have the hope of resurrection back to life on earth, to be reunited with family and friends (John 5:28,29; Acts 24:15).

    This will take place during the upcoming millennial rule by God’s kingdom or heavenly government (Daniel 2:44; Matthew 4:17) over man on earth after the end of this wicked era (Matthew 25:14), through Jesus, its King (Isaiah 11:1-9).

  10. God’s kingdom will soon put an end to all wicked ones on earth before Jesus’ millennial rule over man on earth begins.

    As promised at Isaiah 11:4 concerning Jesus, that kingdom’s King:

    “And with righteousness he must judge the lowly ones, and with uprightness he must give reproof in behalf of the meek ones of the earth. And he must strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; and with the spirit of his lips he will put the wicked ones to death.”

    The existence of all wicked ones is now short lived since we are living in the last days of a wicked era (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21).

  11. No, atheist, religion is about acknowledging your creator, and giving thanks for your very being, and all that you have in life. It is no wonder that our Lord said, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God” (Luke 6:20), because he knows that those who are poor, rely on God for everything, and thank Him when they get so much as a slice of bread. That is why the poor, are actually rich, though not in things tangible.

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