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Garissa attack survivors recall how they escaped death as village buries its dead

13 April 2015, 08:08 Dareel Eric

Vihiga - Mourners at Gunguvani village in Sabatia constituency, Vihiga County were left in tears during the requiem mass for Newton Karani Chagwi, as one of survivors and a roommate to the deceased narrated how he escaped death’s jaws by a whisker by hiding on roof for almost 10 hours.

Geoffrey Kibet, 21, recounted how the militia group ambushed them as they enjoyed their morning sleep at Garissa University College, causing frenzy amongst innocent students who surrendered themselves into their hands to be butchered mercilessly.

“Initially, we thought it was a strike. But as we moved outside, I retreated into the hostel when I noted that the people who were saying that they had nothing against us were instead shooting students who tried running away, mercilessly,” a desolate Kibet told the mourners, heightening the anger of the emotive crowd.

The second year student who was pursuing Bachelor of Education (Arts) at the University said that as a roommate to the late Karani, he feels lost for words as he was his closest confidant and they shared many memories between them.  

“On the roof of the hostel, I texted my parents and told them that we had been attacked and it was likely that I would die that day. I told them that if we would never meet again, they should know that I loved them,” he said.

Read Also: Kenya starts to bury Garissa massacre dead

Another survivor of the attack, Nevias Isadia, 21, who was taking Bachelor of Scienc, and who comes from the same village as Karani, said that it only God’s hand saved them from the bullet.

Karani, 21, was a second year student undertaking a degree in Business Management, and was eulogised by his teachers, parents, villagers and fellow students as an industrious person who did not want to back down even in the worst situations of all.

“He was a person who would help us in every area. We have truly lost one of the brightest minds in this village,” said Jairus Konzole, Principal Nadina secondary school, where he helped teach during the holidays.  

In the County, three of the Garissa Terror Attack victims who succumbed to the Al Shabaab’s bullet were buried.

Judith Chepkemoi, 21, was buried at Gamalenga village, while Khaguli was buried in Kaimosi, both in Hamisi Constituency.

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