The PJ Tatler

Hundreds of Christians Still Believed Held by Al-Shabaab in Horrific University Attack

Al-Shabaab confirmed it’s behind the bloody assault on a Kenya university that has killed at least 15, with unofficial death tolls much higher.

An unknown number of hostages were taken at Garissa University College as well, with Al-Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage telling Agence France-Presse that “when our men arrived, they released the Muslims. We are holding others hostage.”

“Our people are still there, they are fighting and their mission is to kill those who are against the Shabaab,” Rage said.

Gunmen attacked in the pre-dawn hours, at about 5:30 a.m. An Al-Shabaab news site put the death toll at “at least 20,” while local reporters on Twitter put the number even higher and accused Kenyan officials of withholding the true extent of the carnage.

The Al-Shabaab site said it didn’t know the number of hostages in the dorms in the “operation of the crusade.” But staff had accounted for only a fraction of the student body, and it would have been easy to corner students in their dorms at the early hour.

Garissa is located 90 miles west of Somalia. According to the university’s website, it is the only public college in the region and several hundred — believed to be more than 800 students — are enrolled there.

Kenyan authorities sent out a warning tweet threatening to take legal action on anyone posting photos of the bloody scene. Photos released by Al-Shabaab showed men and women laying on the ground among overturned desks, and were being circulated on social media by ISIS supporters.

They named an Al-Shabaab commander who once taught at a madrasa in town, Mohamed Kuno, as the mastermind of the attack and put a $53,000 bounty on his head. Kuno is in charge of Kenya operations for Al-Shabaab and oversees ops in the Somali Juba region, using his family contacts to slip in and out of the north part of the country.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta released a statement saying the terrorists “killed and wounded several people and have taken others hostage.”

“I also urge Kenyans to stay calm as we resolve this matter, and to provide the authorities with any information they may have in connection with any threats to our security,” Kenyatta said.

U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert F. Godec issued a statement stressing America “strongly condemns” the brutal attack.

“The attack once again reinforces the need for all countries and communities to unite in the effort to combat violent extremism,” Godec said. “The United States remains a committed friend of Kenya. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the government and people of Kenya in the effort to end the scourge of terrorism.”