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Kenya Massacre Gunman Was Official's Son

Cops took 7 hours to send special unit in
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 6, 2015 12:00 AM CDT
Kenya Massacre Gunman Was Official's Son
A nun prays during the service at the Our Lady of Consolation Church, which was attacked with grenades by militants almost three years ago, in Garissa, Kenya, Sunday, April 5, 2015.   (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

(Newser) – One of the gunmen who slaughtered 148 people at a college in Kenya has been identified as the law-school-educated son of a Kenyan government official, underscoring the inroads Islamic extremists have made in recruiting young people to carry out attacks against their own country. Abdirahim Mohammed Abdullahi, who was killed by security forces Thursday along with the three other militants who stormed Garissa University College, was the son of a government chief in Mandera County, which borders Somalia, an Interior Ministry spokesman says. The chief had reported his son missing last year and feared he had gone to Somalia.

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Somalia's al-Shabab militant group claimed responsibility for the bloodbath, saying it was retribution for Kenya's sending of troops to Somalia to fight the extremists. The attackers separated Christian students from Muslim ones and massacred the Christians. Questions have been raised about the security response to the Garissa attack. Police waited seven hours before sending a special tactical unit into the college to fight the gunmen, Kenya's Daily Nation reports. When the specially trained police finally went in, it took them only 30 minutes to kill the four attackers and stop the siege, the paper reports. (A survivor was found hiding in a cupboard two days after the massacre.)

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