Kenya attack: Survivors still waiting to be evacuated

Students have gathered on a local football field this afternoon a day after the siege on their campus.

A member of the security forces escorts a student out of Garissa University campus in Garissa on 2 April, 2015, after an attack by Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebaab gunmen. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Hundreds of survivors of a deadly attack on the Garissa University in Kenya are waiting to be evacuated.

Students have gathered on a local football field this afternoon a day after the siege on their campus.

WATCH: Newly released video footage shows students running for their lives.

At least four gunmen stormed the campus just before dawn yesterday and opened fire on mostly non-Muslim students who were sleeping in dormitories.

147 people were killed.

A day on from the attack, the last of the bodies are being ferried away from Garissa University to the mortuary in Nairobi to be claimed by their families.

For some survivors there's a flight out of town, for others, a brief return to the campus to quickly pack their stuff and get away.

There's been no official update on the death toll since the last government statement which put it at 147, mainly the students who were held hostage.

The four gunmen are among the dead.

But it's clear that operations on the campus are far from over as trucks returned to the gate and leave with body bags.

The International Relations Department has added its voice to the condemnation of the bloody siege.

It's the most recent al-Shabaab attack in Kenya as the group continues to punish the country for its involvement in the war in neighbouring Somalia.

International relations' Clayson Monyela says the continent needs to regroup and re-strategise on how to tackle terrorism.

"The South African government also reiterates our support for Kenya as well the international community, especially efforts aimed at peace keeping, democracy and nation building in Somalia."


Within hours of the attack, Kenya put up a 20 million shillings ($215,000) r eward for the arrest of Mohamed Mohamud, a former Garissa teacher labelled 'Most Wanted' in a government poster and linked by Kenyan media to two separate al-Shabaab attacks in the neighbouring Mandera region last year.

The government also slapped a dusk to dawn curfew on Garissa, Mandera and two other crime-ridden regions near the porous 700-km border with Somalia.

However, diplomats and analysts say the move effectively concedes the government is not in control of these areas, which are widely seen to be Kenya's soft underbelly.

As such, al-Shabaab is likely to continue its strategy of attacking "low risk and high reward" soft targets in marginalized parts of the country, according to Ahmed Salim, a senior associate at Teneo Intelligence.

Analysts and diplomats say Kenya's security services remain disjointed and questions have been raised by Kenyan media about how four gunmen were able to hold off hundreds of security personnel, including soldiers and elite police units.

One Western diplomat said Kenya, a staunch Western ally in the fight against radical Islam, continues to receive help from Western intelligence agencies but struggles to act on it.

"The fundamental challenge for them is being able to deal with that kind of information, and their capacity and capability of digesting it," said the diplomat.