‘Terror Drill’ Kills One Woman, Injures 31 at Kenyan University


A ‘terror drill’ conducted by security forces at a university in the Kenyan capital Nairobi has left one dead and at least 31 injured.

A 33-year-old staff member identified as Esther Kidemba died from severe head injuries sustained during the exercise at Strathmore University. It hasn’t yet been confirmed how she suffered the fatal injuries, but many staff and students were reported to have jumped from the third storey of a building after hearing gunshots.


Planned drill

The drill comes just months after an Al-Shabaab militant attack killed 147 students at Kenya’s Garissa University in April. Security is a key issue in the country right now and Strathmore University claims a number of security marshalls, staff and students had been trained prior to the terror drill.

“This simulation was aimed at testing the preparedness of the university community and emergency team in the event of an attack,” a statement said.

“Unfortunately some students and staff panicked and got injured. The university has assured all the students, parents and stakeholders that the situation is under control and normal operations have resumed.”

It’s still not clear whether those who had received training were aware of the drill, but many students have complained they knew nothing of the exercise until they heard what they thought was a genuine attack on their lives.


A ‘terror attack’ against its own students

Public reaction to the drill has been less than positive and Twitter has been a hotbed of criticism and accusations. Some students have refused to consider the incident a drill, instead claiming it was a terrorist attack carried out by the university upon its own students.

Meanwhile, accusations that security forces used live bullets in the drill have angered students at the university and the public alike.

However, the overriding message has been one of condolences for the life lost in the exercise and her family.


Featured image:

A view of Nairobi from the Kenyatta International Conference Centre” by BobokineOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.