NAIROBI — One Kenyan student is dead and approximately 100 others were treated at a local hospital on Sunday following a stampede driven by fear of a second Islamic terror attack that turned out to be only an electrical problem.
According to reports, at approximately 4:30 a.m., an electrical transformer blew up at the University of Nairobi-Kikuyu, resonating three loud blasts throughout the campus. Students in the women’s dormitory began screaming, and the men’s wing soon followed.
“They thought they had been attacked,” police official Benson Kibue told Capital FM News.
“We were all scared,” one unidentified student also told the outlet. “The explosion was heard within a large area. We thought they (al-Shabaab) had come to attack us. … [Y]ou won’t stay there and wait for them to kill you.”
Students began rushing out of the building in the dark of night, and some jumped out of windows as high as five stories tall to escape what they thought was a bomb blast. One student who jumped out the window died from the fall and scores of others were injured in the stampede.
But it was soon discovered that the matter was simply an electrical issue caused by a underground cable. Police say that the cable will be replaced and that there should be no further concern.
Students had been advised to be vigilant following the recent terror attack at Garissa University, which took the lives of 148 people.
As previously reported, over 140 students were shot dead after members of the Islamic group Al-Shabaab carried out a calculated attack that mainly targeted Christians.
“We sorted people out and released the Muslims,” Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, spokesman Al-Shabaab, announced. “There are many dead bodies of Christians inside the building. We are also holding many Christians alive.”
“They asked for Muslims, and then told them to step aside,” a survivor also confirmed to the BBC. “And then to confirm whether it was true they were Muslims, they were asked some questions from the Quran.”
“If answered correctly, you are put aside. If you answer wrongly, you are shot on the spot,” they continued.
The four gunmen were later killed by security forces, but Al-Shabaab has threatened more attacks, declaring that “Kenyan cities will run red with blood.” It also reiterated that the deadly assault was aimed at Christians.
“[S]ince the attack targeted only non-Muslims, all Muslims were allowed to safely evacuate the premises before executing the disbelievers,” a statement from the group read. “The Muslim blood is inviolable whereas the blood of a Kafir (disbeliever) has no protection except by Eeman (belief) or Aman (covenant of security).”
The group threatened more violence in the name of Allah.
“We will, by the permission of Allah, stop at nothing to avenge the deaths of our Muslim brothers until your government ceases its oppression and until all Muslim lands are liberated from Kenyan occupation,” it continued. “Our message will be written to you not with words, but with the blood of your people. Dig their graves and prepare their coffins from now.”
“But honor belongs to Allah and his messenger, and to the believers.” the terror group concluded, “but the hypocrites know not.”