Students at the University of Nairobi fled their campus early Sunday morning after they heard an explosion and feared an attack similar to the one at Garissa University College was happening. NBC News reports more than 100 students were injured and one died as they rushed to escape from their dormitories at the university's Kikuyu campus.
"We thought it was another al-Shabab attack," first-year student Eddy Capella told NBC News. University vice chancellor Peter Mbithi confirmed a male student fell to his death from the fifth floor in an attempt to leave. The sound was caused by a faulty transformer at 4:30 a.m., and some witnesses said they saw an explosion. Kenya’s main electricity distributor, Kenya Power, claimed the incident was caused by overloaded underground cable reports Reuters.
Tensions in the region have been high since the devastating attack at Garissa. One student told Reuters that although he did not feel safe on campus, he would continue with his studies. Kikuyu students have asked the government for better protection for all schools.
Militants affiliated with al-Shabab, the al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist organization, attacked Garissa University College and killed 148 students and teachers on April 2. In 2013, the same group claimed responsibility for the deadly attack in a Nairobi mall that killed 67 people. Some estimates predict that al-Shabab has carried out 17 attacks within Kenyan borders since 2012. The attacks have claimed more than 400 lives in the past two years.
The state and local government have taken several actions to respond to the attack. Kenyan officials have shut down Somali money transfer firms in an effort to stave off funding for terrorist groups, and last week the government launched airstrikes against al-Shabab. Most recently, Kenya demanded the removal of the Dadaab refugee camp, which the government alleges is being used to harbor potential Somali terrorists like al-Shabab. The camp is home to over 335,000 people.