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Kenya extends detention of Garissa massacre suspects

Tony Karumba, AFP | People light candles alongside wooden crosses at Freedom-Corner in Uhuru Park in Nairobi on April 7, 2015 during a candlelight vigil for the victims of the Garissa college attack

A Nairobi court on Tuesday ordered five Kenyans and a Tanzanian to be detained for 30 days in connection with last week's university massacre as hundreds of students marched in the capital demanding protection from al Shabaab attacks.


The Tanzanian is still being held in the northeastern town of Garissa, where the massacre of 148 people, mostly students, took place on Thursday.

The Kenyan suspects are believed to have supplied weapons to the four gunmen who carried out the attack at the Garissa University College.

One of the men was arrested on the university campus, where he worked as a security guard. The others were detained while trying to cross the border into Somalia.

According to authorities, the Tanzanian man was found hiding in the ceiling of the university campus holding grenades.

Somalia’s al Shabaab militant group has claimed responsibility for the bloodbath, saying it was retribution for Kenya’s sending of troops to Somalia to fight the extremists.

During the day-long siege, the attackers separated Christian students from Muslim ones and massacred the Christians.

It was Kenya's deadliest attack since the 1998 bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi.

Police are studying phone records of the men to find evidence they were in contact with the four gunmen who carried out the attack and were killed by Kenyan troops.

Students march for more security

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government has faced fierce criticism for its failure to provide security at the campus and for what many regard as the security forces’ late response to the assault.

On Tuesday, hundreds of Kenyan students marched through downtown Nairobi to honour those who were killed and to press the government for tighter security.

The raucous crowd of about 250 jogged down the capital’s main thoroughfares, sometimes sitting in traffic circles and intersections, backing up traffic for blocks and attracting bystanders. “Comrades are tired of al Shabaab,” one placard read.

The protesters stopped at Kenyatta’s office building to present their demands, which include state compensation for the families of the victims who died in the Garissa attack, the construction of a memorial for the dead and better security on campuses and in Kenya as a whole.

On one road, the students passed a truck carrying security forces with red berets and rifles. “Where were you?” they shouted angrily. The troops did not respond.

Recruited in Kenya

Authorities on Sunday named one of the four gunmen killed as a fellow Kenyan citizen, highlighting the Shabaab's ability to recruit within the country.

Abdirahim Abdullahi, an ethnic Somali, was a university law graduate and has been described as an A-grade student and "a brilliant upcoming lawyer".

Although losing ground in Somalia, the Shabaab have stepped up attacks inside Kenya and are believed to be recruiting a growing number of Muslim youths in the country's northeastern and coastal regions.

A $215,000 (€200,000) bounty has been offered for alleged al Shabaab commander Mohamed Mohamud, a former Kenyan teacher believed to be in Somalia and to have masterminded the attack.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP)

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