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Kenyan varsity lines up events to mark 1st anniversary since terror attack

GARISSA, Kenya, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Garissa University College in northeast Kenya said Monday it has organized a series of events to mark the first anniversary since the Al-Shaabab militia attack on April 2, 2015 that resulted in the killing of 148 students.

The attack was termed as one of the worst attacks that saw Somalia-based terror group storm the institution and massacre the students after engaging Kenyan security forces in an eight-hour siege.

According to Abdiaziz Mohamed of African Talent and Change Foundation, a founder member, the organizers have lined up a marathon to help explore talents among idle youth who are being radicalized into joining terror groups.

"This is a platform to promote peaceful co-existence among Kenyans for the purpose of cohesion and integration," he said in Garissa town.

The founder member urged corporate institutions to sponsor the race and Kenyans of all walks of life to join in the activity.

Garissa University Principal Professor Ahmed Warfa said this will be the first marathon of this magnitude to remember the fallen heroes. "This is a day engraved in our history and it's a day we will never forget," Warfa said.

The principal said a series of other activities among them dances, drama are lined up and the climax will be on April 2, the d-day.

The Garissa massacre is the biggest ever to have occurred on Kenyan soil since Kenya took its troops to Somalia to subdue Al-Shabaab militants blamed for sporadic armed attacks in the country.

Since its reopening in January hundreds of students have registered for various courses in the institution with the number still surging, according to the college officials.

So far, 139 new students had registered in January while 60 previous privately sponsored students had also started their classes in the same month.

Security agencies have intensified border patrols to deter infiltration of the militants into the country at a time of increased threats by the terrorists' network and homegrown terror cells.

The government has already started construction of proposed wall between Kenya and Somalia in Kiunga, Lamu County to address the heavily porous unmanned borders believed to be easy route for terrorists to sneak into the country.

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