Kenya Garissa university attack: Massacre survivor Cynthia Cheroitich found in cupboard

Student said she drank from a bottle of lotion to stave off hunger and thirst

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The Independent Online

A survivor of the Garissa University College massacre was found today, two days after the attack by Somali militants al-Shabaab that killed almost 150 students.

Cynthia Cheroitich, 19, said from her hospital bed that she hid in a large cupboard and covered herself with clothes and refused to emerge even when some of her classmates came out of hiding after demands by gunmen.

She was rescued shortly before 10 am local time, according to Kenyan officials. Cynthia claims that she had to drink from a bottle of lotion while hiding as she was very thirsty and hungry.

She said she didn’t believe that rescuers urging her to come out of her hiding place were there to help. She only stepped out of the cupboard when security forces requested that one of her teachers ask her to instead.

 

“How do I know that you are the Kenyan police?” she claimed to have questioned them. Cynthia, a Christian, attributed her ability to sustain the ordeal to praying to “my God”.

Five suspects were arrested today in connection with the attack. Four gunmen were killed during the 15-hour siege.

Three suspects are associates of Mohamed Mohamud, also known as Dulyadin Gamadhere, a former teacher who authorities say coordinated the attack on Garissa University College. They were arrested at the border and the other two were picked up in Garissa, in northeast Kenya.

Al-Shabaab warned today that they are seeking to wage more destruction on Kenyan cities to make them “run red with blood”.

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Mohamed Mohamud is thought to have organised the attack

The murderous group claimed responsibility for the university attack and said it was in retaliation for killings carried out by Kenyan troops fighting rebels in Somalia.

“No amount of precaution of safety measures will be able to guarantee your safety, thwart another attack or prevent another bloodbath,” the group said the statement.

“Kenyan cities will run red with blood ... This will be a long, gruesome war of which you, the Kenyan public, are its first casualties,” it added.

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