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Kenya's Garissa University reopens months after al-Shabab massacre

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |   Jan. 4, 2016 at 7:11 AM

GARISSA, Kenya, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- The Garissa University College in Kenya officially reopened Monday, nine months after the al-Shabab siege that left nearly 150 people dead.

The school's staff are to report back to work for an academic board meeting on Wednesday, when prospective students will also be given information on courses. Students are expected to return to campus next Monday.

A police post and additional checks have been established on campus to improve security.

The French government announced in November it would pay the school fees for a year for 109 Garissa students who survived the April 2 al-Shabab massacre.

Of those killed in the attack, 142 of the 148 victims were students. Al-Shabab said it carried out the attack because it opposes the presence of Kenyan troops in Somalia, where the militant Islamist organization mostly operates.

Al-Shabab declared a "long, gruesome war" against Kenya after Kenya deployed troops to Somalia to fight al-Shabab in 2011.

Al-Shabab imposes strict Islamic law in the areas it controls within Somalia and frequently carries out attacks, including the 2013 Westgate shopping mall attack in Kenya in which at least 67 people were killed. Security in Mogadishu has improved since al-Shabab lost control of the capital in 2011.

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