148 Killed in Attack on Kenyan University

An Al-Shabab terrorist attack on a university in Garissa, Kenya, left 148 people dead, including 142 university students. 

Gunmen from Al-Shabab, an Al-Qaida affiliate based in Somalia, killed 148 people at a university in Kenya on Thursday in the East African country's most deadly terrorist attack since the 1998 bombing of the United States Embassy in Nairobi. The militant group targeted Christian students at the progressive public university just 90 miles from neighboring Somalia.

“The problem is because it’s located not too far from the border, it’s quite easy for the Shabab to operate in this part of the country," said freelance journalist Murithi Mutiga, speaking from outside of a Nairobi mortuary. “A lot of criticism is now coming in to the authorities based in Nairobi for failing to do more to protect the students and to protect citizens more generally.”

“Thought must be put into how to stop this from recurring and how to tackle what is clearly a major regional nemesis," added Mutiga, who has been covering the attack's aftermath for The Guardian.

This is the second major attack in Kenya that Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for in the last two years. In 2013, they stormed the Westgate Mall, Nairobi's largest shopping center, and killed 67 people, injuring 175 more over a four-day period. 

Kenya's president, Uhuru Kenyatta, vowed to respond “in the severest way possible” to the massacre at the university. On Monday, Kenyan fighter jets bombed two Al-Shabab training camps in Somalia.

The Dart Center has tips and resources for journalists covering tragedy on this scale:


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