Newspaper article International New York Times

Kenyans View and Mourn Victims

Newspaper article International New York Times

Kenyans View and Mourn Victims

Article excerpt

Scores of families were waiting at the morgue to identify relatives who died when Shabab gunmen stormed a university and killed nearly 150 students.

They gathered by the hundreds outside the Chiromo funeral home and morgue, where the bodies of their loved ones had been brought. Some sat waiting for their turn to go inside, while others stood in a long line. Their faces went pale and their eyes teared up every time someone emerged, wailing, weeping or collapsing on a companion's shoulder.

"Why?" one man cried, moving his hands up and down. Kenya Red Cross workers, holding both of his arms, took him to a tent to meet a counselor.

The families were at the morgue on Saturday to identify relatives killed on Thursday by armed men from the Shabab, the Somali Islamist extremist group, who stormed a university campus in Garissa, separating Muslims from Christians and shooting the Christians. In the end, nearly 150 students were killed in the massacre, Kenya's worst terrorist attack since the 1998 bombing of the United States Embassy in Nairobi.

At the Nyayo National Stadium, in another part of Nairobi, a caravan of eight buses carrying hundreds of survivors arrived from Garissa, about 230 miles northeast of Nairobi, under heavy rain as their relatives anxiously waited. Some wept, while others jumped up and down and waved their arms joyously as they saw their loved ones.

"That's my brother," Conny Oumah shouted as she ran to hug her brother, Vittalis Opiyo. "I am so happy he is safe."

Roselyne Oganogo waited with relatives for hours for her 19-year- old sister, Eunice, a freshman at Garissa University College. "Thank God she is safe," Ms. Oganogo said as Eunice emerged from the crowd of students, her face still drawn in disbelief.

In a statement published Saturday on the website of Radio Andalus, a station affiliated with the Shabab, the group said the attack on the university was in retaliation for killings carried out by Kenyan troops fighting the militants in Somalia. …

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