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Kenyan security forces end al-Shabab siege that killed 147

Gunmen stormed Garissa University College in Kenya at dawn, firing at random and killing a total of 147. Survivors said Christians were targeted, some taken as hostages and others murdered on the spot. The day-long siege finally ended when security forces killed the attackers and freed the remaining captives. Somali-based Islamic militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility. Gwen Ifill reports.

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    Now: the attack in Kenya that sparked a daylong siege and killed 147 people.

    It began at daybreak and finally ended after dusk, when security forces killed four Somali gunmen and freed their remaining captives.

    All day long, ambulances and military vehicles raced the wounded away from Garissa University College. It was the bloodiest terrorist attacks the country had ever seen, and the Somali group Al-Shabab, linked to al-Qaida, claimed responsibility.

    Police said gunmen stormed the college at dawn, firing at students in their dormitories. Survivors said the attackers separated out Christians, taking some hostage and killing many others on the spot. Those who managed to escape recounted the horror.

  • MAN (through interpreter):

    I jumped out the window and fell down. I ran to the gate, and that's when I met a biker, who helped me get to the hospital.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Security forces quickly surrounded the college, about 120 miles from the Somali border. And an overnight curfew was imposed on the entire the region.

    In a nationally televised address, President Uhuru Kenyatta urged his people to stay calm and alert.

  • PRESIDENT UHURU KENYATTA, Kenya:

    This is a moment for everyone throughout the country to be vigilant, as we confront and defeat our enemies.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Kenyatta also announced expedited training of 10,000 police recruits. The government identified the suspected mastermind of the attack as Mohamed Mohamud, also known as Dulyadin, and officials posted a $220,000 bounty for him.

    He's alleged to be the leader of Al-Shabab's cross-border strikes. They began after Kenya sent its military into Somalia four years ago. Until today, the worst of those came in 2013, when Al-Shabab attacked a Nairobi shopping mall, and 67 people were killed.

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