At least 147 people were killed at Garissa University in northeastern Kenya on Thursday by al-Shabab militants. Although 104 people were injured and 19 were left in critical condition, more than 500 students managed to escape from the attackers.
After killing two security guards early on Thursday, armed gunmen stormed the university and immediately attacked a Christian prayer service.
Many witnesses later told reporters that the attackers had singled out Christians and spared Muslims, while others reported that the gunmen fired indiscriminately.
Japhet Mwala, a student who woke to the terror, told Agence France-Presse, “We were sleeping when we heard a loud explosion that was followed by gunshots, and everyone started running for safety.” Mwala said that she escaped by jumping through a fence, and that she was lucky to be alive.
Al-Shabab is an Islamic militant group linked to al-Qaeda and based in Somalia that has been battling the Somali and Kenyan governments. The group’s attack on Garissa University is its deadliest attack to date.
Department of Justice prosecutors indicted United States Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) on Wednesday on federal corruption charges.
The indictment charges Menendez for allegedly using his Senate office to push the business interests of a friend and donor, Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, in exchange for gifts.
The following day, Menendez, who maintained his innocence for three years, pleaded not guilty to 14 criminal counts against him, including eight counts of bribery.
In a statement to his supporters posted on YouTube on Thursday, Menendez claimed the indictment a failure of justice and said, “That failure affords me the opportunity to finally show beyond a doubt that the charges leveled today and through a nearly 3 year campaign of innuendo and smears are completely false.”
Senator Menendez reportedly agreed to step down as the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but pledged to remain in office.