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Kenya al-Shabab attack: Security questions as Garissa dead mourned

14Kenya is mourning 147 people killed in Thursday’s al-Shabab attack on Garissa university campus, amid questions over why warnings were ignored.
Kenyan newspapers say there was intelligence information of an imminent attack on a school or university.
Locals question why security was not heightened, with only two guards on duty at the time of the attack.
Uganda is on heightened alert after police said they had received information of similar attack.
Security services appear to have had some information that an attack on an institution of higher learning was in the offing and appear to have warned institutions to be careful, theDaily Nation newspaper reports.
It says the university of Nairobi warned its students on 25 March that it had received intelligence information about a possible attack on a university and asked them to be vigilant.
Many of the students who survived were escorted off the campus to receive counselling
Locals in Garissa, a city about 150km from the Somali border, also question why security was not boosted in light of the intelligence.
“It’s because of laxity by the government that these things are happening. For something like this to happen when there are those rumours is unacceptable,” said Mohamed Salat, 47, a Somali Kenyan businessman.
One of the survivors, who hid in bushes as the gunmen assaulted the campus killing 147 people, said the students had raised security issues late last year, but only two armed guards had been provided.
Another survivor, Helen Titus, told the news agency AP that one of the first things the gunmen did when they assaulted the campus was head for the lecture hall, where Christian students were gathered for morning prayer.
“They investigated our area. They knew everything,” the 21-year-old said.
A dusk to dawn curfew has now been imposed in Garissa and three nearby counties.
Kenyan forces prepared to sweep inside the campus hours after the attack
In his address to the nation after the attack, President Uhuru Kenyatta said he had instructed the police chief to speed up the training of 10,000 recruits, because Kenya had “suffered unnecessarily due to shortage of security personnel”.
Speaking after the attack in Garissa, Babu Owino, the chairman of the Students Organisation for Nairobi University, told AP news agency that the government’s behaviour showed it was not serious in fighting extremist attacks.
Al-Shabab was also blamed for the Westgate Mall massacre in Nairobi in 2013 in which 67 people died, also after guards at the entrance were overwhelmed and people were held hostage inside.
The bodies of many of those killed in Garissa have been flown to the capital Nairobi for identification, as the local mortuaries have been unable to cope, and many of the students killed came from other parts of the country.
The BBC’s Anne Soy saw ambulances leaving the Garissa campus on Friday and hundreds of survivors being sent home.
Long queues are forming at the mortuaries to identify the victims
The masked attackers rampaged through the campus at dawn on Thursday, shooting and shouting “we are al-Shabab”.

A second-year student who hid for 10 hours in a wardrobe is one of about 500 survivors still being held at a military facility, where they are undergoing counselling.
Her father drove for four hours from Nairobi when he was unable to get hold of her during the siege. He told the BBC about his desperate search for his daughter at the mortuary, hospital and military airstrip. Late in the afternoon, when he had almost given up hope, he got a text: “Dad call me”. They have yet to be reunited but his relief is palpable.
Questions are being asked about the university’s security. One survivor, who hid in bushes for five hours, told the BBC that students had raised the issue at the end of last year, but only two armed guards had been provided. One of the few students from the local community, he said he would never set foot on the campus again.
The heavily armed gunmen killed the two security guards first, then fired indiscriminately at students, many of whom were still asleep in their dormitories. They singled out Christians and shot them, witnesses said.
While many of the survivors speak to the media, little is known so far about those who were killed.
The BBC’s Frenny Jowi says Kenyan media are cautious in their coverage because of a new anti-terror law that stipulates heavy fines for material “likely to cause fear”.