Extraordinary tales of courage and survival are emerging from the Islamist university massacre in Kenya.
Christian student Cynthia Cheroitich survived the massacre at Garissa University College in Kenya by crawling into a cupboard and hiding under a pile of clothing.
Millicent Murugi, heavily pregnant, daubed herself with blood from a murdered friend and pretended to be dead for ten hours.
The gunmen were from Al Shabaab, an offshoot of Somalia’s Islamic Courts Union jihadist terror group, who have said they are acting in retaliation for Kenyan military action against Islamist terror troops in Somalia.
They murdered 148 Christian students, police, soldiers and security guards over a 13 hour killing spree but missed 19-year-old Cynthia who staved off thirst by drinking body lotion.
At first she did not believe the rescuers were for real but was coaxed out of her hiding place by a teacher.
She said afterwards she said her faith had helped her survive: “I was just praying to my God.”
Four of the gunmen were killed in the rescue and their shot-up bodies were driven naked through the city. A further five suspects have been arrested. Three of them have links with Mohamed Mohamud, also known as Dulyadin Gamadhere, a former teacher who is believed to have been responsible for planning and executing the killings.
Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, who declared three days of mourning, warned that the Islamists responsible for this and similar attacks were “deeply embedded” in the nation’s communities. He said: “We will fight terrorism to the end.”
Al Shabaab described their actions in a statement to the news agency Reuters: “The mujahideen stormed the university compound and swiftly proceeded to the halls of residence where they had gathered all the occupants.
“Since the attack targeted only non-Muslims, all Muslims were allowed to safely evacuate the premises before executing the disbelievers.
“No amount of precaution of safety measures will be able to guarantee your safety, thwart another attack or prevent another bloodbath.
“This will be a long, gruesome war of which you, the Kenyan public, are its first casualties… Kenyan cities will run red with blood.”
Al Shabaab is also thought to have been behind the Westgate shopping centre murders in 2003 in Nairobi in which 67 people were slain.