The death toll of people killed after gunmen attacked Garissa University College in northeast Kenya on Thursday morning has risen to 15, a section of Kenyan media is reporting. However, this number has not been confirmed yet.
Kenya Red Cross officials said at least 65 people, including two policemen were injured by the attackers and have been rushed to hospital.
The two policemen and a civilian have been airlifted to Nairobi for treatment.
The gunmen, linked to Al Shaabab, are said to have attacked the institution around 5.30am Thursday.
They set off explosives and reportedly shooting people within premise at about 5:30am Thursday morning.
Two guards were killed and several people injured and Kenya Red Cross officials say at least 30 people, including two policemen were injured by the attackers and have been rushed to hospital, according to a Nation Newspaper reporter currently at the scene.
Unconfirmed reports state that students may have been taken hostage.
Nation.co.ke reporter Abdimalik Hajir says he saw the bodies of the guards near the university’s main gate.
Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet said there was a shootout between attackers, suspected to be al Shabaab gunmen, and police officers who were guarding the students’ hostels.
“The attackers shot indiscriminately while inside the university compound.
“However, the attackers retreated and gained entry into the hostels….a joint force composed of NPS officers and other security agencies arrived and are engaged in an elaborative process of flushing out the gunmen from the hostels,” he said in a statement posted on his Twitter account.
KDF and police have entered the university’s compound.
Kenya’s Capital News reported as at 10 am, security forces comprising police and the military were struggling to flush out between four to five gunmen who were holed up in the university’s hostels with students.
“It is a delicate security operation because we have students inside and the attackers are shooting,” a police officer at the scene said.
Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet issued a statement urging the public to remain calm as security forces did their best to rescue the students and neutralise the attackers.
“Security agencies are currently engaged in an elaborate process of flushing out the gunmen from the hostels,” he said.
Boinnet’s statement did not mention the number of casualties, but instead dwelt on the chronology of events.
“Armed attackers forced their way into Garissa University by shooting at the guards manning the main gate at around 5.30am,” Boinnet said of the attackers who shot indiscriminately while inside the university compound.”
“Police officers who were at the time guarding the student’s hostels heard the gunshots and responded swiftly and engaged the gunmen in a fierce shootout, however the attackers retreated and gained entry into the hostels.”
The university’s Dean of Students Jacktone Kweya who was interviewed by Citizen Television said he was yet to get a proper briefing on casualties.
“All I can say is that I received telephone calls from students at 5 am that the university is under attack,” he told the TV station.
The Norther eastern part of the country, adjacent to the Somalia border has faced numerous attacks from the militants linked to the Al Qaeda terror network since the deployment of the Kenyan military in their lawless country.