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Government: We did not have intelligence on Garissa attack

The government has said it was caught by surprise when terrorists descended on a university college in Garissa killing 147 students.

This is despite reports which showed that government did indeed have intelligence that showed a public institution would be targeted.

Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery on Thursday brushed aside a question on whether the travel warnings by United Kingdom and Australian governments had been ignored, and instead insisted that the attack was unexpected.

“This incident which happened today is one of those incidents which can surprise any country,” he told reporters in Garissa during a briefing.

The UK in particular had last week said it was recommending only “essential travel” to areas around the Coast and north eastern including Garissa County.

VIGILANT

The government had also directed universities, especially those located in Nairobi, to advise their students to be “vigilant” and report any suspicious sights on the campus or wherever they are.

The advice was informed by intelligence that there was an imminent attack on a vital installation in the country.

On Thursday, Nkaissery applauded the security forces for ending the siege fast. But he admitted the price paid was high.

“We commend our security forces and 90 per cent of the threat has already been eliminated. Of course at a very high cost in terms of loss of life,” he said in one of the briefings before the siege was announced over.