Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (L), flanked by his Deputy William Ruto, addresses a news conference at the State House in the capital Nairobi April 4, 2015.
Photo by Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

Kenya massacre: Son of government official named as gunman

The son of a Kenyan government official has been identified as one of the gunmen who attacked a Kenyan college where 148 people were killed, authorities said Sunday.

Abdirahim Mohammed Abdullahi, one of the Islamic extremists who attacked Garissa University College, was the son of a government chief in Mandera County, Interior Ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka told The Associated Press.

The chief had reported his son missing last year and said he feared that he had gone to Somalia, said Njoka. All four attackers were killed by Kenyan security forces on Thursday, said police.

Related: Teen survivor of Kenya college massacre found alive

Abdullahi graduated from the University of Nairobi with a law degree in 2013 and was viewed as a “brilliant upcoming lawyer,” according to someone who knew him. It is not clear where he worked before he disappeared last year, Njoka said.

Somalia’s al Shabab Islamic militants claimed responsibility for the attack on Garissa college Thursday saying it is retribution for Kenya deploying troops to Somalia to fight the extremist rebels.

The news that one of the attackers was Kenyan came as grieving Christians prayed, sang and clapped hands at an Easter Sunday service at a Catholic church in Garissa.

This story originally appeared on NBC News

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Kenya massacre: Son of government official named as gunman