Gunmen Attack College In Kenya
( 4UMF NEWS ) Gunmen Attack College In Kenya:
At least 15 people were killed and dozens injured in a pre-dawn attack at a university in eastern Kenya on Thursday, according to media reports.
A police official said gunmen attacked Garissa University College, shooting indiscriminately in campus dorms, the Associated Press reported.
The news agency said a morgue worker in Garissa town said at least 15 people have been killed.
The militant group Al-Shabaab, based in southern Somalia, has claimed responsibility, CNN, Reuters and the BBC reported.
Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, Al-Shabaab's military operations spokesman, told Reuters: "We sorted people out and released the Muslims. Fighting still goes on inside the college." He told the news agency that the militants were holding many Christian hostages.
The Kenya National Disaster Operations Center tweeted that three of the four dorms have been evacuated, and the gunmen have been cornered in one dorm.
The Kenya Red Cross said 65 people had been taken to a local hospital.
A statement on the Twitter account of Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet said that armed attackers forced their way into the university by shooting at the guards at the main gate at around 5.30 a.m. local time.
Police officers guarding the students' dorms engaged the gunmen in a "fierce shootout, however the attackers retreated and gained entry into the hostels," the statement said.
The officers called for reinforcements, who are "engaged in an elaborative process of flushing out the gunmen from the hostels," the statement added.
Student Augustine Alanga, 21, who escaped the attack, told the AP that most people were asleep when gunfire erupted. He said some students stayed indoors while others fled with gunmen firing at them.
Alanga said he saw at least five heavily armed, masked gunmen.
"I am just now recovering from the pain as I injured myself while trying to escape. I was running barefoot," he told the AP.
He said students taking part in morning prayers at the university mosque at the time were not attacked.
The Kenya Red Cross tweeted that an aircraft was en route to Garissa to take critically injured patients to hospital in the capital Nairobi.
The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi tweeted: "We are saddened & angered by today's terrorist attack @ #Garissa Univ. Our deepest condolences 2 family/friends of victims. #CowardsNeverWin."
Kenya's northern and eastern regions, which are near the Somali border, have suffered a number of attacks blamed on Al-Shabaab, which was declared a terror organization under U.S. law in 2008.
The group, which pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2012, took responsibility for an attack in 2013 at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, that left more than 60 people dead.
Al-Shabaab has vowed revenge on Kenya for sending troops into Somalia in 2011 to fight the militants.
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