Nothing like a government official’s son turned terrorist.
GARISSA, Kenya— The son of a Kenyan government official has been identified as one of the gunmen who attacked a Kenyan college where 148 people were killed, authorities said Sunday.
Abdirahim Mohammed Abdullahi, one of the Islamic extremists who attacked Garissa University College, was the son of a government chief in Mandera County, Interior Ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka told The Associated Press.
The chief had reported his son missing last year and said he feared that he had gone to Somalia, said Njoka.
All four attackers were killed by Kenyan security forces on Thursday.
Somalia’s al-Shabab Islamic militants claimed responsibility for the attack on Garissa college Thursday saying it is retribution for Kenya deploying troops to Somalia to fight the extremist rebels.
Grieving Christians prayed, sang and clapped hands at an Easter Sunday service at a Catholic church in Garissa.
Security forces patrolled the perimeter of Our Lady of Consolation Church, which was attacked by militants almost three years ago. Grenades lobbed at the building sprayed shrapnel into the interior, injuring some worshippers. Another Garissa church was also attacked that day and 17 people were killed.
Sunday’s ceremony was laden with emotion for the several hundred members of Garissa’s Christian minority, which is fearful following the attack by al-Shabab, a Somalia-based Islamic extremist group. The gunmen who attacked Garissa University College on Thursday singled out Christians for killing, though al-Shabab has a long record of killing Muslims over the years.
“We just keep on praying that God can help us, to comfort us in this difficult time,” said Dominick Odhiambo, a worshipper who said he planned to abandon his job as a plumber in Garissa and leave for his hometown because he was afraid.
“Thank you for coming, so many of you,” Bishop Joseph Alessandro said to the congregation. He said some of those who died in Thursday’s attack would have been at the service, and he read condolence messages from around the world.
Alessandro saw a parallel between the ordeal of Jesus Christ, which Easter commemorates, and that of Garissa.
“We join the sufferings of the relatives and the victims with the sufferings of Jesus,” he said. “The victims will rise again with Christ.”
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