The day-long siege of Garissa University College was Kenya’s deadliest attack since the 1998 US embassy bombings and the biggest ever by the al-Qaeda-affiliated fighters, although the Kenyan government on Friday vowed it would not be “intimidated”.
Survivors recounted how the gunmen taunted students before killing them, including forcing them to call their parents to urge them to call for Kenyan troops to leave Somalia.
As the gunmen prowled the university rooms hunting down more people to kill, some students smeared blood from their dead friends over their bodies to pretend they too had been shot.
Al Jazeera’s Malcolm Webb, reporting from Garissa, said some are suggesting the death toll might be higher.
The day-long seige ended with all four of the gunmen detonating suicide vests in a hail of heavy gunfire.
At least 79 people were also wounded in the attack on the campus, which lies around 200 km away from the border with Somalia.
On Friday, a huge crowd of traumatised and shocked survivors and relatives of those killed or missing gathered at the university gate.