Africa

Kenya al-Shabab attack: Who are the victims?

Someone holding a photo of a woman who died in the Garissa University College attack Image copyright Reuters

Kenyans have taken to the streets and to social media to express their grief at the death of 148 people in the al-Shabab attack on Garissa University College in north-eastern Kenya.

The hashtag #147notjustanumber - referring to the initial death toll - has been posted more than 60,000 times on Twitter since Saturday.

Although an official list of victims has not yet been released, families and friends of those killed have been posting their names and pictures online. Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper also features photos of some of the victims on Tuesday's front page.

Kenyan activist Ory Okolloh started the online campaign to make sure all the victims are remembered, tweeting to her followers: "#147notjustanumber. We will name them one by one."


Students

The interior minster said 142 of those who died were studying at the college that opened in 2013 - it is part of Moi University, which is based in the Rift Valley town of Eldoret.

  • John Mwangi Maina:

Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper reports that the business management student in his twenties was killed after going back to try and rescue his girlfriend. The paper quotes Mr Maina's uncle saying that he had initially escaped the attackers by hiding in the bushes outside the university compound, but had gone back inside after he realised his girlfriend had been left behind.

Image caption A shrine with photos of victims was made during a vigil in Nairobi
  • Elizabeth Musinai:

The linguistics undergraduate phoned her family in the western agricultural town of Kitale several times during the course of the attack. Her family told KTN TV that she was forced to call one final time by the attackers before she was killed. Her mother, quoted in Kenya's Star newspaper, said she heard three gunshots at the end of the final phone call.

  • Mildred Wakholi:

From the village of Mulambo in western Kenya, she was in her first year at university. Her mother told Kenya's Standard newspaper that she initially had hopes that her daughter might have survived the attack. Ms Wakholi's friends said she had been shot in the leg and rushed to hospital. After she was unable to find her daughter on the list of survivors in Nairobi, she went to the mortuary, where she found her daughter's body. She had been reportedly shot in the head.

  • Laban Kumba:

A student leader, he is reported to have been killed after trying to wrestle one of the attackers to the ground. According the Kenya's Daily Nation, he had arrived in Garissa from Moi University for a meeting. "He had just won the university's elective post of students leader in February. He was in his second year doing a bachelor's degree in information technology," his guardian told the paper.

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Media captionFelisitas Kavosi told the BBC's about how she identified her dead son

Reuters journalist Edith Honan has been reporting from the Chiromo mortuary in Nairobi, where victims' families have had to identify their bodies. She has been naming the victims and posting tributes to them from the information families have given her:

Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter

A document has also been posted online to keep track of all the victims of the Garissa attack, as well as other major previous attacks in Kenya. The aim of the resource, according to the authors, is "to ensure we never forget the names of victims of internal and external acts of mass violence".


Security personnel

Officials say three members of the security forces were killed as well as three university guards.

Image copyright AP
Image caption The campus was surrounded by officers as plans were made to end the siege
  • Peter Masinde:

Joshua Nzeya told the BBC that his 29-year-old son was an officer in the Administrative Police assigned to Garissa university to patrol during the day. His daughter-in-law called him to tell him that his son had been killed after engaging the attackers. After identifying his body, Mr Nzeya said his son had been hit by three bullets.

"He has been helping me very much, I'm relying on him very much, I was hoping that he would bury me," he said. According to the Daily Nation, Mr Masinde had only been deployed to help guard the university three weeks before the attack.

  • Bernard Tonui:

The 39-year-old from an elite paramilitary unit died from his injuries after suffering gunshot wounds responding to the attack. According to the Star newspaper, the officer from a village in the Rift Valley recently received anti-terror training in the US.

A colleague said: "Ask everyone in the camp to rate him and he will tell you he was the best. He would go out of his way to protect lives when called upon."

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