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Terrorists in Garissa University attack wanted troops withdrawn from Somalia

Friday March 4, 2016

Bullet riddled wall at a hostel in Garissa University College. (Photo:File/Standard)

Terrorists who attacked Garissa University said they wanted Kenyan troops to be withdrawn from Somalia, a court has heard.

Robert Njeru Mathenge, a student at the university who has since moved to Moi University in Eldoret, said two gunmen stormed their Elgon Hostel at dawn and ordered them out before being commandeered to the ground floor where they were told to lie down.

"I saw two men in military gear and striped shirts and one of them led us to Side A where the ladies' hostels were situated. He told us not to look up," he said.

The witness said as the gunmen escorted them to the ground floor, they told them they were Al Shabaab members and their mission was to send a message to the Kenyan government over its involvement in the war-torn country.

The witness was testifying Thursday in the case in which Mohamed Surow, Osman Dakane, Mohamed Abikar, Hassan Hassan, Sahal Hussein and Mberesero are linked to the April 2, 2015 terror attack in which 150 people were killed.

"They wanted to speak with the Government through us," said Njeru, adding: "The gunmen ordered Muslims to leave the hostel and the rest to remain and then started shooting at us aimlessly."

He said he remained on the floor and could not raise his head after the bodies of his colleagues fell on him but he later managed to see his roommate, who had been shot dead.
Lawyer Steve Mogaka sought to know from the witness whether he could identify the two attackers, to which he said he could recognise one of them. Hearing continues on March 7.


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