Somali Islamist militants threaten to carry out more bloody attacks on Kenya after the group’s fighters killed nearly 150 people in an assault on a Kenyan university.
In a message directed at the Kenyan public, the group vowed a long and gruesome war, saying Kenya’s cities will “run red with blood”.
“No amount of precaution or safety measures will be able to guarantee your safety, thwart another attack or prevent another bloodbath from occurring in your cities,” al-Shabaab said in statement.
The attack university attack brought the worst bloodshed in Kenya in nearly two decades, after four al-Shabaab gunmen went on a killing spree, hunting down and executing students in a campus in Garissa near the border with Somalia.
Ambulance staff told Channel 4 News that one of the survivors was found in the university this morning.
The first thing she said when they found her was “water, water”, they said.
The area was soon bristling with security forces after the attack, and at least 10 buses arrived on Saturday to take survivors away.
One of the survivors told Channel 4 News he would never come back to Garissa.
Garissa’s governor arrived to see the buses take the student survivors away from the area – he said Garissa would take the battle to al-Shabaab.
Channel 4 News Africa Reporter Jamal Osman spoke to the terror group by telephone and challenged them to explain their attack on a civilian building. The group said the massacre was in response to the killing of Somalis.
But the group also dramatically escalated its demands saying Garissa and Mombasa – Kenya’s second largest city – are part of their lands and that all Kenyans should leave the area.
In a message directed at the Kenyan public, the al Qaeda aligned group said the raid was retribution for Kenya’s military presence in Somalia and mistreatment of Muslims within Kenya.
The group said it would run cities “red with blood”, adding: “This will be a long, gruesome war of which you, the Kenyan public, are its first casualties.”
The death toll in the Garissa blitz has risen to 148, Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery said late on Friday, adding that police were interviewing five suspects after making three additional arrests on Friday.
Kenyan police said they suspect the possible mastermind of the attack is former teacher Mohammed Mohamud – who has been linked to the 2013 attack on the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi, in which 67 people were killed.
The US has condemned the attack, with White House spokesman Josh Earnest saying Washington was standing with the people of Kenya “who will not be intimidated by such cowardly attacks”.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon echoed the condemnation, reiterating his solidarity with the Kenyans “to prevent and counter terrorism and violent extremism”.
The raid on Thursday was the deadliest in the east African nation since 1998, when al Qaeda bombed the US embassy in the capital Nairobi and killed more than 200 people.