Garissa University College in Kenya is sending hundreds of students home following an attack by Islamist militants that killed at least 147 people on the campus Thursday morning, according to BBC News. A correspondent wrote that she saw ambulances and "students with suitcases boarding buses" to leave the campus, where victims' bodies reportedly still lay on the ground. "They're facing down, always," an unnamed medic told CNN. "They're always facing down, and they're shot in the heads, around the back."
Al-Shabab, a terror group based in Somalia, took responsibility for the killings, saying the deaths were motivated by the group's war with Kenya. Gunmen stormed the campus at about 5:30 a.m. local time, shooting and beheading Christian students. Witnesses said Muslim students were released during the 13-hour attack. As the day went on, the death toll rose -- first it was 15, then 70, and then 147. Security officers also killed four of the militants.
Officials Friday were transporting the bodies five hours west to Nairobi so they could be identified. The Associated Press reported that about 20 victims were airlifted there because local mortuaries did not have the space to keep the bodies. Authorities have also had trouble dealing with the bodies of those killed in the attack because the students came from so many different areas in Kenya, BBC News reported.
In the mean time, police have mandated a dusk-to-dawn curfew for four counties near the Garissa campus, inspector general Joseph Boinett told USA Today. The curfew will stay in place for the next two weeks.
As Garissa recovers from Thursday's attack, Kenya's Education Ministry has temporarily closed the school. The government has created a National Disaster Operations Centre where people can call in to get information, and a $220,000 reward is being offered for information about suspected massacre organizer Mohamed Mohamud. “This is a moment for everyone throughout the country to be vigilant as we continue to confront and defeat our enemies,” Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said.