At least 70 students were killed after militants from Somalia’s al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab group stormed a campus in northeast Kenya on Thursday, the interior ministry said. At least four militants have also been killed, the ministry said.

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Survivors described a harrowing scene in which people were mercilessly gunned down and bullets whistled through the air as they ran for their lives at Garissa University College, which lies near the Somali border.

Kenya’s National Disaster Operations Centre said earlier that 65 of those wounded have been admitted to a local hospital, most with gunshot wounds.

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Al Shabaab said it had released Muslims while killing some Christians and taking others hostage.

“We sorted people out and released the Muslims,” Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military operations spokesman, told Reuters.

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“There are many dead bodies of Christians inside the building. We are also holding many Christians alive. Fighting still goes on inside the college.”


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