Saturday April 2 marked exactly one year when four armed men killed 148 people at Kenya’s Garissa University College. 142 of those killed were students of the university.
The al-Qaeda affiliated Islamist group, al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack on the University in the northeastern part of Kenya, some 20 kilometers from the border with Somalia.
The attackers took over 700 students hostage, freed the Muslims among them and killed those who identified as Christians.
The 16-hour siege ended on the same day, with all four gunmen killed.
Five men were later arrested in connection with the attack, and a bounty placed for the arrest of a suspected organizer.
The attack is considered the deadliest in the country since the 1998 US Embassy bombing.
On Saturday, April 2, exactly one year after the attack, scores of Kenyans turned up for a commemorative marathon to honour the victims of the attack.
Clad in T-Shirts with Garissa Memorial Marathon boldly written on the front and Terrorism has no Religion. Say NO to Terrorism and Radicalization on the back, some 100 participants took part in the marathon.
Organizer of the commemorative event, Ahmed Mohammed said: “We are here to say sorry for what has happened and also to say that this is an important day that will never be forgotten by the community here in Garissa and by Kenyans in general.”
Age was not prerequisite for the marathon as men and women of all ages participated in the race.
“Today I am happy because I’m showing all my strength in solidarity with the slain brothers, Kenyans, dear children, I had in this university. I am happy that I participated in this marathon to show that I am remembering them after one year of them going away and leaving us behind,” Farah Ali one of the runners told AFP.
A memorial plaque, funded by the County government, has been mounted on the university’s campus bearing the names of the 148 people slain by the terrorists as well as dove on one side and a pen in an open book with the inscription “Verily, the power of education will never be silenced even by the deadliest gun”.
Apart from the marathon, students of the university also gathered to sing hymns, light candles and share stories about their fellow students, many of whom were gunned down by the al-Shabab militants.