At least 151 killed in Kenyan campus attack
Four terrorists killed in university attack that signaled out Christians.

Authorities confirmed late Thursday the end of an 16-hour militant attack -- claimed by the al-Shabaab group -- on northern Kenya's Garissa University College, leaving at least 151 dead.

"I want now to confirm to Kenya that the operation has ended successfully and that all four terrorists have been killed," Cabinet Secretary for Interior Joseph Nkaissery told reporters.

"It's unfortunate that the terrorists were able to kill young good citizens very early in the morning," he said.

"As I speak to you, it is saddening that we have lost 147 lives," added the government official.

Nkaissery said 79 students were injured.

"Nine are in critical condition and have been airlifted to Nairobi," he added.

The minister said the attackers had strapped themselves with improvised explosive devices.

"When our officers shot them, they blew up killing some of our men," he said. "Some of the shrapnel injured most of our officers."

The official said that in the morning one army officer, one policeman and two guards were killed.

Nkaissery did not clarify how many of the other 147 dead were students and how many were security forces.

He assured the nation that 518 students have been accounted for and are in the military compounds in Garissa.

"Very early tomorrow, we will evacuate them to their homes," he vowed. "Everything has been taken care of."

The police inspector-general had earlier announced a curfew in Garissa County from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., starting Friday.

Militants stormed the campus early Thursday, holding hostage an unknown number of students for nearly 16 hours.

"We have so far killed dozens in the university and the operation is still underway," Ali Dheere, a spokesman for Somalia's Al-Shabaab militant group, had earlier told the Andalus radio station and the "Somali memo" website.

"We attacked the university in Garissa because we are at war with Kenya," he said.

In Washington, the White House condemned the attack "in the strongest terms."

"We extend our deep condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed in this heinous attack, which reportedly included the targeting of Christian students," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement.

Masked gunmen reportedly separated Christians from Muslims before indiscriminately gunning down the Christians.

"The United States stands with the people of Kenya, who will not be intimidated by such cowardly attacks," Earnest added.

Thursday’s attack is the worst Kenya has s suffered at the hands of al-Shabaab insurgents.

The Al-Qaeda-linked group has vowed to carry out attacks in Kenya as long as the East African country keeps troops in Somalia.

In late 2013, Al-Shabaab gunmen stormed Nairobi's Westgate Mall, holding hundreds of victims hostage.

The four-day siege left 67 dead, including all of the assailants.

Kenya's worst terror attack took place in 1998 when 213 victims were killed in the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi -- an operation claimed by al-Qaeda.

Last Modified: 2015-04-03 08:24:50
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