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Kenya Marks First Anniversary of Garissa University Terror Attack
   2016-04-03 08:33:30    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Xie Cheng

A former Garissa University College student, who survives the terror attack on her university, joins others in holding candles for the victims during a memorial service to mark the first anniversary of the attack in Nairobi, Kenya, on April 2, 2016. [Photo: Imagine China]

Kenyans have commemorated the first anniversary of a deadly terrorist attack at a university in Garissa, which is regarded as the country's worst massacre since 1998.

CRI's Xie Cheng reports.

 

A group of some 100 people wearing T-shirts with peace slogans gathered in Garissa on Saturday to participate in a marathon run in honor of the victims.

"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."

"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."

Aden Duale, a local lawmaker who took part in the run, said people across the whole country should be united in the fight against terrorism.

"We are here as a country, we remember this day even though it is a year later. We stand with those parents, we want to tell them that together as a country from the north to the south to the west to east, from the Muslims to Christians, all of the 42 communities in our countries, from our neighbours and the global international community -- that together we must fight all forms of terror."

Remembrance ceremonies have been held in dozens of schools and universities across Kenya, including in the central town of Eldoret where hundreds of attack survivors relocated to continue their studies.

Trees were planted at a corner set aside by the university in a bid to pay tribute to the victims.

Survivor Edwin Olango said he holds on to positive memories of the deceased.

"I personally lost a lot of my friends. Almost all of them because it was a small university and we all knew each other. Even if you did not know their names, you definitely interacted with them. We lost a lot of people and now that we are here, and we are recalling, we remember it's been very hard but we have been taught that you should remember the positive things because the negative things will make you start crying. You will start getting angry and the bad memories will come back. "

Prayers and candlelight vigils were due to be held later in the day in Garissa and the capital Nairobi.

On April 2, 2015, 4 masked al Shabaab gunmen strapped with explosives stormed Garissa University College, killing 148 people, mostly students.

It was the worst terrorist attack to hit Kenya since Al-Qaeda bombed the US embassy in Nairobi back in 1998, leaving more than 200 people dead.

For CRI, I'm Xie Cheng.  

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