Kenya officials say 4 attackers killed, up to 150 dead
Kenyan security officials at the scene of an attack by Islamic extremists on a college in northeast Kenya say the security operation to free hostages is over and that the death toll may be as high as around 150. Dozens of hostages were freed, they said, with four of the gunmen killed. The gunfire has ended, according to Associated Press reporters near the scene.
Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery said gave the death at 70 but conceded that it could go higher. Police officials who could insisted on anonymity because they are not authorized to speak with the press said the toll could be as high as about 150
One Kenyan police source said there were 147 dead and another police source said 160. A third source put the death toll at around 80 but said there were so many bodies that he could not do a proper count as night fell with no electrical power to light the scene.
7:10 p.m. (1610 GMT, 12:10 p.m. EDT)
Kenyan Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery says that more than 70 people have been killed in an attack by Somali-based Islamic extremists on a college in northeast Kenya.
Nkaissery said that 79 people were wounded in the attack Thursday and four suspected attackers have been killed. He told reporters the total number of the attackers is still unknown and that security agents are fighting them at Garissa University College.
The minister ordered a dusk to dawn curfew in Garissa and in the nearby counties of Wajir, Tana River and Mandera.
Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.
The death toll now surpasses the 67 who were killed in al-Shabab's attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi in September 2013.
6: 35 p.m. (1535 GMT, 11:35 a.m. EDT)
Kenya's interior ministry says two of the gunmen who attacked a college in northeast Kenya have been killed.
In a statement on Twitter, the ministry said Thursday: "Two terrorists have been neutralised in the ongoing operation. Security agencies intensify rescue operation."
Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery said that most students at Garissa University College that was attacked by al-Shabab gunmen remain unaccounted for, more than 11 hours after the attack started.
Nkaissery said: "Garissa University college has a student population of 815 and about 60 members of teaching staff, as of now we are able to account for 292 students and all the staff."
The known death toll from the attack by the Islamic extremists is now 17, with the deaths of two of the attackers. An unknown number of hostages are being held. Many students scattered when the attack began at 5:30 a.m.
5:40 p.m. (1440 GMT, 10:40 a.m. EDT)
The man whom Kenyan police say was a possible mastermind of the attack on a college in northeast Kenya is currently in charge of al-Shabab's external operations against Kenya, according to Kenya's intelligence service.
Kenyan police have offered a $220,000 bounty for Mohammed Mohamud, who has the aliases Dulyadin and Gamadhere. They believe he is the mastermind of the attack on a college in Garissa, in northeast Kenya. At least 15 have died in Thursday's attack, which has turned into a hostage situation.
Mohamud was a teacher at a madrassa, or Islamic religious school, for several years. He claimed responsibility for the Nov. 22, 2014, bus attack in Makka, Kenya, in which 28 people were killed.
4:45 p.m. (1345 GMT, 9:45 a.m. EDT)
Kenyan police have offered a $220,000 bounty for Mohammed Mohamud, also known as Dulyadin alias Gamadhere whom they believe is the mastermind of the attack on a college in Garissa, in northeast Kenya.
Al-Shabab gunmen attacked Garissa University College on Thursday, targeting Christians and killing at least 15 people and wounding 60 others. Witnesses said the gunmen said they were from al-Shabab, a Somali extremist Islamic group, and the group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
4 p.m. (1300 GMT, 9 a.m. EDT)
President Uhuru Kenyatta says the government has deployed security forces try to end a hostage situation more than nine hours since al-Shabab gunmen attacked a college in northeast Kenya.
At least 15 people were killed and 60 wounded Thursday in the attack on Garissa University College.
Kenyatta said in an address to the nation he had directed the police chief to fast-track the training of 10,000 police recruits whose enro'lment is pending.
He said Kenya had "suffered unnecessarily due to shortage of security personnel."
3: 40 p.m. (1240 GMT, 8: 40 a.m. EDT)
Kenya's president says hostages have been taken in the attack on a college in the northeastern town of Garissa.
In a speech to the nation President Kenyatta Uhuru said: "I am saddened to inform the Nation that early today, terrorists attacked Garissa University College killed and wounded several people and have taken others hostage."
He said details would be forthcoming "in due course" from security officials.
2: 50 p.m. (1150 GMT, 7:50 a.m. EDT)
Kenya's Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery says one suspected extremist was arrested as he attempted to flee the scene of an al-Shabab attack on a college in northeast Kenya. One survivor said he personally saw five gunmen at the Garissa University College. Nkaissery made the announcement in a press conference in Nairobi, the capital.
2: 35 p.m. (11:35 GMT, 7:35 a.m. EDT)
Michael Bwana, a 20-year-old student who managed to flee from the al-Shabab attack on a college in Kenya, said he and other survivors have been trying to call their trapped friends but their phones are switched off.
Either the students turned off their phones for their own safety or the gunmen have seized the handsets, he said.
"Most of the people still inside there are girls," he told The Associated Press, referring to the student dormitory in which gunmen are believed to be holding an unknown number of students.