Kenya attack survivor says gunmen had scouted the campus

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Footage Emerges From Kenya Massacre

GARISSA, Kenya (AP) -- The Islamic extremists who slaughtered 147 people at a college in Kenya as they shouted "God is great" appeared to have planned extensively, even targeting a site where Christians had gone to pray, survivors said Friday.

Police on Friday were at the campus of Garissa University College, taking fingerprints from the bodies of the four assailants and of the students and security officials who died, for thorough identification purposes. The northeastern Kenyan town lacks the facilities to store all the bodies.

In Nairobi, Kenya's capital, family members were lining up at a morgue where about 20 bodies had already been airlifted from Garissa, victims of the worst attack in Kenya since the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy by al-Qaida which killed more than 200 people. Screaming and crying relatives of the victims were assisted by Kenyan Red Cross staffers, who tried to console them.

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Garissa University College (Kenya, al-shabaab)
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Kenya attack survivor says gunmen had scouted the campus
Kenya Red Cross staff assist a woman after she viewed the body of a relative killed in Thursday's attack on a university, at Chiromo funeral home, Nairobi, Kenya, Friday, April 3, 2015. Al-Shabab gunmen rampaged through a university in northeastern Kenya at dawn Thursday, killing scores of people in the group's deadliest attack in the East African country. Four militants were slain by security forces to end the siege just after dusk. (AP Photo)
Map locates areas where Al-Shabab gunmen stormed Garissa University College in Kenya killing more than 70 people.; 3c x 3 inches; 146 mm x 76 mm;
A crowd of Kenyan women and men, mostly muslim, listens as speakers denounce the latest attack by al-Shabab gunmen, at a public meeting in Garissa, Kenya Friday, April 3, 2015. The Islamic extremists who slaughtered 147 people at the college in northeast Kenya as they shouted "God is great" appeared to have planned extensively, even targeting a site where Christians had gone to pray, survivors said Friday. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Kenya Red Cross staff assist a woman after she viewed the body of a relative killed in Thursday's attack on a university, at Chiromo funeral home, Nairobi, Kenya, Friday, April 3, 2015. Al-Shabab gunmen rampaged through a university in northeastern Kenya at dawn Thursday, killing scores of people in the group's deadliest attack in the East African country. Four militants were slain by security forces to end the siege just after dusk. (AP Photo)
WANTED!! The men behind #GarissaAttack 1. Muumin Abdalla Muumin 2. Suleiman Mohamed Awadh 3. Abdifatah Abubakar Abdi http://t.co/lDTrRu5dOG
Students of the Garissa University College take shelter in a vehicle after fleeing from an attack by gunmen in Garissa, Kenya, Thursday, April 2, 2015. Gunmen attacked the university early Thursday, shooting indiscriminately in campus hostels. Police and military surrounded the buildings and were trying to secure the area in eastern Kenya, police officer Musa Yego said. (AP Photo)
Medics help an injured person at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, Thursday, April 2, 2015, after being airlifted from Garissa after an attack by gunmen at Garissa University College in northeastern Kenya on Thursday morning. Witnesses say the gunmen who stormed a college in Kenya Thursday morning identified themselves as members of al-Shabab, the Islamic extremist group from neighboring Somalia. (AP Photo)
Members of Kenya Defense Forces patrol at the Garissa University College in Garissa, northeastern Kenya, Friday, April 3, 2015. Al-Shabab gunmen rampaged through the university at dawn Thursday, killing over 100 people in the group's deadliest attack in the East African country. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)
Medics help an injured person at Kenyatta national Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, Thursday, April , 2, 2015 , after being airlifted from Garissa after an attack by gunmen at Garissa University College in northeastern Kenya on Thursday morning. Al-Shabab gunmen attacked Garissa University College in northeast Kenya early Thursday, targeting Christians and killing at least 15 people and wounding 60 others, witnesses said. (AP Photo)
A Christian faithful prays near the Holy Family Basilica in Nairobi, Kenya, Friday, April 3, 2015 on Good Friday during the Holy Week of Easter. Easter marks the end of Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. The last week of the Lent is called Holy Week, and it contains Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)
A member of Kenya Defense Forces secures the area of the Garissa University College in Garissa, northeastern Kenya, Friday, April 3, 2015. Al-Shabab gunmen rampaged through the university at dawn Thursday, killing over 100 people in the group's deadliest attack in the East African country. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)
A university student gets on a bus at the gate of the Garissa University College in Garissa, northeastern Kenya, Friday, April 3, 2015. Al-Shabab gunmen rampaged through the university at dawn Thursday, killing over 100 people in the group's deadliest attack in the East African country. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)
Kenya Red Cross staff help a woman after she viewed the body of a relative killed in Thursday's attack on a university, at Chiromo funeral home, Nairobi, Kenya, Friday, April 3, 2015. Al-Shabab gunmen rampaged through a university in northeastern Kenya at dawn Thursday, killing scores of people in the group's deadliest attack in the East African country. Four militants were slain by security forces to end the siege just after dusk. (AP Photo)
A member of Kenya Defence Forces patrols the area of the Garissa University college, in Garissa, Kenya, Thursday, April 2, 2015. Al-Shabab gunmen attacked Garissa University College in northeast Kenya early Thursday, targeting Christians and killing over 100 people and wounding others, according to Kenya's national disaster operations center and the interior minister. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)
A member of Kenya Defence Forces secures the area of the Garissa University college, in Garissa, Kenya, Thursday, April 2, 2015. Al-Shabab gunmen attacked Garissa University College in northeast Kenya early Thursday, targeting Christians and killing over 100 people and wounding others, according to Kenya's national disaster operations center and the interior minister. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)
A student injured in the attack on Moi university by Shebab fighters is treated at a hospital in Garissa on April 3, 2015 Kenya's interior minister vowed that the country would not bow to terrorist threats, a day after the massacre of 147 students by Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab fighters. AFP PHOTO / CARL DE SOUZA (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
A Kenya Defence Forces soldier secures the area around the Garissa University college, in Garissa, Kenya, Thursday, April 2, 2015. Al-Shabab gunmen attacked Garissa University College in northeast Kenya early Thursday, targeting Christians and killing over 100 people and wounding others, according to Kenya's national disaster operations center and the interior minister. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)
Local people look on as a man read a newspaper in Garissa on April 3, 2015, bearing headlines and pictures concerning the attack a day earlier on the university there by Shebab fighters.. Kenya's interior minister vowed that the country would not bow to terrorist threats, a day after the massacre of 147 students by Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab fighters. AFP PHOTO / CARL DE SOUZA (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
A member of the Kenyan Defence Forces stands guard at the Garissa University campus after an attack by Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab gunmen in Garissa on April 2, 2015. At least 70 students were massacred when Somalia's Shebab Islamist group attacked a Kenyan university today, the interior minister said, the deadliest attack in the country since US embassy bombings in 1998. AFP PHOTO / CARL DE SOUZA (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
Kenyan police officers take positions outside the Garissa University College as an ambulance carrying the injured going to a hospital, during an attack by gunmen in Garissa, Kenya, Thursday, April 2, 2015. Gunmen attacked the university early Thursday, shooting indiscriminately in campus hostels. Police and military surrounded the buildings and were trying to secure the area in eastern Kenya, police officer Musa Yego said. (AP Photo) (AP Photo)
President @UKenyatta's statement on #GarissaAttack http://t.co/ks5aeEjcg6
Students of the Garissa University College get out of a house where they seek refuge after fleeing from an attack by gunmen in Garissa, Kenya, Thursday, April 2, 2015. Gunmen attacked the university early Thursday, shooting indiscriminately in campus hostels. Police and military surrounded the buildings and were trying to secure the area in eastern Kenya, police officer Musa Yego said. (AP Photo)
Students of the Garissa University College get out of a house where they were taking shelter from an attack by gunmen in Garissa, Kenya, Thursday, April 2, 2015. Gunmen attacked the university early Thursday, shooting indiscriminately in campus hostels. Police and military surrounded the buildings and were trying to secure the area in eastern Kenya, police officer Musa Yego said. (AP Photo)
Students of the Garissa University College get out of a house where they were taking shelter from an attack by gunmen in Garissa, Kenya, Thursday, April 2, 2015. Gunmen attacked the university early Thursday, shooting indiscriminately in campus hostels. Police and military surrounded the buildings and were trying to secure the area in eastern Kenya, police officer Musa Yego said. (AP Photo)
Some students without their shirts of the Garissa University College get out of a house where they seek refuge after escaping from an attack by gunmen in Garissa, Kenya, Thursday, April 2, 2015. Gunmen attacked the university early Thursday, shooting indiscriminately in campus hostels. Police and military surrounded the buildings and were trying to secure the area in eastern Kenya, police officer Musa Yego said. (AP Photo)
Kenyan police officers take cover outside the Garissa University College during an attack by gunmen in Garissa, Kenya, Thursday, April 2, 2015. Gunmen attacked the university early Thursday, shooting indiscriminately in campus hostels. Police and military surrounded the buildings and were trying to secure the area in eastern Kenya, police officer Musa Yego said. (AP Photo)
Kenya MT @DennisOkari: The gunmen are holed up inside the upper hostel section. I can hear gunfire from the other end http://t.co/LuYkIkfMOY
#Kenyan army tank drives towards #Garissa University. Gunfire, hostages still inside http://t.co/xwDXfp1I9t
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One of the first things that the al-Shabab gunmen did when they assaulted the campus early Thursday, survivor Helen Titus said, was to head for a lecture hall where Christians were in early morning prayer. Al-Shabab is a Somalia-based extremist group with ties to al-Qaida.

"They investigated our area. They knew everything," Helen Titus told The Associated Press at a hospital in Garissa where she was being treated for a bullet wound to the wrist. Officials said 79 people were wounded.

Titus, a 21-year-old English literature student, said she covered her face and hair with the blood of classmates and lay still at one point during al-Shabab's deadliest attack on Kenyan soil in hopes the Islamic extremist gunmen would think she was dead.

The gunmen also told students hiding in dormitories to come out, assuring them that they would not be killed, said Titus, who wore a patient's gown as she sat on a bench in the hospital yard.

"We just wondered whether to come out or not," she said. Many students did, whereupon the gunmen started shooting men, saying they would not kill "ladies," Titus said. But they also shot women and targeted Christians, said Titus, who is a Christian.

Esther Wanjiru said she was awake at the time of the attack. Asked if she lost anyone, she said: "My best friend."

Another survivor, Nina Kozel, said she was woken up by screaming and that many students escaped by sprinting to the fences and jumping over them. Some suffered bruises, she said. Many men were unable to escape, and hid in vain under beds and in closets in their rooms, according to Kozel.

"They were shot there and then," she said.

Those who surrendered were either selected for killing, or freed in some cases, apparently because they were Muslim, she said.

The killers shouted "God is great" in Arabic as they proceeded with the slaughter, she said.

Security forces stood guard Friday at the gate of the school. School slogans on the wall outside said "Oasis of Innovation" and "A World Class University of Technological Processes and Development."

At one point, a group approached the college gate and was blocked by soldiers. Several women began shrieking and collapsed in apparent grief in the dust for several minutes. A bystander said the son of one of the women had died in the attack.

A small group of male demonstrators walked down a main road in Garissa with signs that read "We are against the killing of innocent Kenyans!!!! We are tired!!" and "Enough is enough. No more killing!! We are with you, our fellow Kenyans."

"We feel very sorry for them and we condemn the attack," demonstrator Abdullahi Muktar said of the victims.

Some surviving students awaited evacuation to Nairobi by plane from a nearby airstrip.

The masked attackers - strapped with explosives and armed with AK-47s - singled out non-Muslim students and then gunned them down without mercy, survivors said. The gunmen took dozens of hostages in a dormitory as they battled troops and police before the operation ended after about 13 hours, witnesses said.

Al-Shabab spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage said fighters the group was responsible for the attack. The al-Qaida-linked group has been blamed for a series of attacks in Kenya, including the siege at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi in 2013 that killed 67 people, as well as other violence in the north. The group has vowed to retaliate against Kenya for sending troops to Somalia in 2011 to fight the militants staging cross-border attacks and kidnappings.

Somali President Said Hassan Sheikh Mohamud called for stronger collaboration between Somalia and Kenya to defeat al-Shabab.

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