Gunmen attack Garissa university in northern Kenya
Masked gunmen have attacked a university in the town of Garissa in northern Kenya, police said, as ongoing gunfire could be heard from the university premises.
Witnesses said explosion and heavy gunfire rocked Garissa University College early on Thursday, and ambulances were already at the scene.
Local media reported that the gunmen have taken hostages inside the complex after raiding the university.
The attack on the university facility began at dawn, Alinoor Moulid, a freelance journalist based in Garissa, told Al Jazeera.
“According to some of the students who escaped, there are around five gunmen and they entered the university dormitory while students were sleeping,” Moulid told Al Jazeera.
“It is hard to tell [about casualties] because the area is now cordoned off, and it is heavily guarded,” he added.
“At the moment, I can hear sirens, and at some point I could hear an exchange of gunfire.”
Garissa University College (GUC), the only public institution of higher learning in the region, opened its doors in 2011 for about 450 students, according to the institution’s website.
The university is situated in Garissa County in the northeastern region of Kenya, about 380km from Nairobi, the capital.