Kenya charges five over university massacre

Five suspects charged over al-Shabab's Garissa university attack in Kenya

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Kenyan police have charged five men in connection with the al-Shabab attack on a university in eastern Kenya in April, in which 148 people were killed.

The five men, accused of belonging to the Somali militant group, pleaded not guilty to 152 counts of committing acts of terrorism in a Nairobi court on Thursday.

The five charged suspects are four Somalis and a Tanzanian. They claim they were tortured during their interrogation by having their heads forced into buckets full of water, as well as being electrocuted and whipped after they denied involvement in the attack.

The names of the 148 students killed in Garissa university were all read out in a court in Kenya's capital, Nairobi. The attackers had singled out Christians to be killed during the attack, while sparing Muslims.

The Garissa attack was the deadliest carried out by al-Shabab, al-Qaeda’s offshoot, so far. Judge Daniel Ogembo remanded the accused in custody until June 11 when the court will rule on their bail application.

Four al-Shabab gunmen stormed the Garissa University College at dawn on April 2. The attack went on for hours before it was finally ended by a specialised police unit and the four men were killed.

Al-Shabab has vowed to carry out attacks against Kenya for sending its troops to Somalia to fight the armed group. Kenya has suffered a wave of bomb attacks by al Shabab in its territory since October 2011.

The group is headquartered in Somalia, but has become increasingly active in neighbouring African nations in recent years.

TRTWorld and agencies