Al-Shabaab fighter on Friday threatened new attacks in Kenya, a day after the extremists killed 147 people in a 16-hour siege of a university campus.
“There will be no safer place for Kenyans as long as their troops are in Somalia,” Al-Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage told pro-insurgent radio Andalus.
He was referring to Kenya’s participation in a 20,000-strong African Union force helping the Somali government battle al-Shabaab.
“You will see more deadly attacks in your country, Kenya,” Rage said.
The Al-Shabaab spokesman said the fighters who attacked the University in Garissa, some 350 kilometres east of Nairobi, singled out Christians to kill.
The attackers “released a number of Muslim students as they were storming the university and killed many Christians inside the university,” Rage said, confirming witness accounts that people who were unable to answer questions about the Koran were shot dead.
Kenya, meanwhile, was mourning the victims as the Red Cross sought blood donations for some of the 79 people were injured in the attack – the worst by Al-Shabaab so far.
Many of the injured and the dead were flown to Nairobi, where family members were invited to collect bodies at a mortuary.
At least four gunmen stormed the university campus at dawn, killing two guards and then gunning down students in dormitories, as well as others trying to escape.
Some students said they were spared because they could recite verses from the Koran.
“They stood in the main path from the hostels, asking questions about Islam and the prophet. It was scary, because Islam doesn’t teach about killing those who don’t know about the teachings,” the newspaper Daily Nation quoted student Hassan Abdi as saying.
Security forces cornered the attackers into one dormitory where they were holding hostages.
The government said four attackers were killed. The Daily Nation said they detonated suicide vests.