Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta has rallied the nation to exercise vigilance following a “terrorist attack” at Garissa University College on Thursday in which several people were killed or wounded and others taken hostage.
“I also assure the Nation that my Government has undertaken appropriate deployment to the affected area, and is fully seized of the situation, ” said Kenyatta in a national address today.
The Al Shabaab terrorists have claimed responsibility for the raid on the higher institution of learning bordering Somalia.
The terrorists struck at around 5:00m, firing at students indiscriminately and taking over their hostels.
Elite units of Kenya armed forces have since been deployed at the university to fight the terrorists.
Today’s attack evoked memories of the Westgate Shopping Mall attack in Nairobi in 2013 in which scores were killed.
Kenyatta urged 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.
This is a moment for everyone throughout the country to be vigilant as we continue to confront and defeat our enemies.”
He did not give details on the number of casualties.
“The full details of casualties will be communicated in due course by the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government who is coordinating operations with the Inspector-General of the Police in Garissa,” said Kenyatta.
“On behalf of my Government, I extend condolences to the families of those who have perished in this attack. We continue to pray for the quick recovery of the injured, and the safe rescue of those held hostage.”
The president directed the Inspector-General of Police to “take urgent steps and ensure that the 10,000 recruits, whose enrolment is pending, promptly report for training at the Kenya Police College, Kiganjo.”
“I take full responsibility for this directive. We have suffered unnecessarily due to shortage of security personnel. Kenya badly needs additional officers, and I will not keep the nation waiting.”
Al Shabaab militants accuse Kenya of deploying troops in Somalia. But even before Kenya dispatched armed forces to the neighbouring war-torn country, the terrorists had started bombings along the coastline.