Incident Summary:

04/02/2015: Assailants armed with grenades and firearms attacked students at Garissa University College in Garissa city, Garissa county, Kenya. The assailants targeted the Christian and non-Muslim students, executing them and holding them hostage for 13 hours before security forces succeeded in ending the siege. At least 152 people, including 142 students, six security personnel, and all four assailants, were killed and 104 others were injured in the assault. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility and stated that the attack was carried out in retaliation for Kenya's military involvement in Somalia.




Sub-Saharan Africa

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Barricade Incident)
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Educational Institution
Name of Entity Garissa University College
Specific Description College
Nationality of Target Kenya
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages Unknown
US Hostages 0
Hours of Kidnapping 13
Outcome Hostage(s) killed (not during rescue attempt)
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives Grenade
Firearms Automatic Weapon
Weapon Details
Grenades and automatic rifles were used in the attack.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information Casualty numbers for this incident conflict across sources. Following GTD protocol, the majority reliable estimates are reported here.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Al-Shabaab Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: E-mail)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 4
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 152 Fatalities / 104 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 152
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 4
Total Number of Injured 104
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Kenya holds five over university massacre, Shebab issues new threat," Agence France Presse -- English, April 4, 2015.
"5 arrested in college massacre," CNN, April 4, 2015.
"More than 148 died in Garissa, Kalonzo claims," News24, April 23, 2015.