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One dies as Kenya university drill sparks ‘terror attack’ panic

world Updated: Nov 30, 2015 23:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Kenya university security drill

People run to escape the Strathmore University campus after hearing gunshots.(@Mate_Tongola/Twitter)

One person died and two Kenyan students were severely injured on Monday as they fled after hearing gunshots fired during a security drill at a university campus in Nairobi, thinking it was a terror attack. Images showed terrified students standing on window ledges at the Strathmore University as the gunshots rang out, according to Al Jazeera.

Outrage grew on social media after the incident, with many alleging the university had failed to issue a warning before the drill.

Police later said it was just a security exercise at the campus, close to the centre of the capital, Nairobi.

The university confirmed to Al Jazeera that a 33-year-old staff member died “from severe head injuries”. It was not immediately what led to the staff member’s death, but local media reports said several people jumped from the third storey of a building to flee “attackers”.

The university said that prior training had been provided to teams of security marshals, comprising students and staff. “This simulation was aimed at testing the preparedness of the university community and emergency team in the event of an attack,” the statement said. “Unfortunately some students and staff panicked and got injured”

Several people in Kenya expressed anger on Twitter over the incident. “It’s terrifying when you see your fellow classmates jumping from 3rd floor and there is nothing you can do,” a user posted.

Kenya has seen several attacks launched by al Qaeda-linked and Somali-led Shebab insurgents in recent years.

They include an April massacre at Garissa university in which 148 people were killed, and a 2013 assault on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall that killed 67.

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