Survivor Found 2 Days After Massacre in Kenya

She was still in her hiding spot on campus; 5 arrests so far
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2015 8:08 AM CDT
Survivor Found 2 Days After Massacre in Kenya
Cynthia Cheroitich, 19, remained in hiding for two days.   (AP Photo/Christopher Torchia)

It's one bit of good news after this week's massacre at a college in Kenya: A 19-year-old woman was found hiding in a cupboard this morning two days after the attack. Cynthia Cheroitich initially refused to come out even as rescuers pleaded with her, reports AP. "How do I know that you are the Kenyan police?" she asked. Finally, one of her teachers arrived and convinced her to emerge, but it's tough to blame her: Survivors have described how the gunmen at Garissa University College told students to leave their dorms, promised they would be unharmed, and then executed them. Often, they taunted their victims before shooting them—in some cases, ordering the students to call their parents beforehand, reports the New York Times. The death toll is now at 148.

Other developments:

  • Five arrests: So far, five suspects have been arrested, including two men found at the college. One is a campus security guard, Osman Ali Dagane, whose arrest suggests the al-Shabab militants had inside help. The other is a Tanzanian national identified as Rashid Charles Mberesero, reports AFP. Three other suspects were caught attempting to cross into Somalia.
  • Suspected mastermind: Kenyan authorities think the mastermind is a former Kenyan teacher named Mohamed Mohamud, also known as Dulyadin Gamadhere, believed to be in Somalia. They've offered a $220,000 bounty.
  • Local gunmen? Survivors say they heard the gunmen speaking in fluent Swahili, which the BBC notes is an official language of Kenya and suggests at least some were locals and not from Somalia as widely believed.
  • Another threat: A statement from al-Shabab today promised more attacks in Kenya and a "long, gruesome war" in retaliation for the country's incursion into Somalia in 2011. It promised to fight "until all Muslim lands are liberated from Kenyan occupation. Until then, Kenyan cities will run red with blood."
(Read more Kenya stories.)

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