An attack by masked terrorists who stormed a university in eastern Kenya has left at least 147 people dead.

Around 80 more have been confirmed as wounded in the siege at Garissa University, which has now ended after the four attackers detonated their suicide vests.

The gunmen hurled grenades and fired automatic rifles as students were sleeping, shooting dead dozens before setting Muslims free and holding Christians and others hostage.

Survivors said the masked attackers singled out non-Muslim students and gunned them down without mercy.

Others ran for their lives as bullets whistled through the air.

Two security guards, one policeman and one soldier were also killed in the siege, which ended 15 hours after the gunmen launched their assault.

The four gunmen had strapped themselves with explosives which they detonated as soldiers burst into the dormitory where they were holed up, according to Interior Minister Joseph Nkaiserry.

Somalia’s al Shabaab militant group has claimed responsibility for the pre-dawn attack, which is the country’s deadliest since the US embassy bombings in 1998.

Student Michael Bwana, who managed to flee, said most of those taken hostage were girls.

Kenya Police Chief Joseph Boinet said the gunmen forced their way into the university at 5.30am by shooting at the guards manning the main gate.

It is not clear if any of the students the militants said they were holding were alive at the time of the final assault.

However, officials said more than 500 students had been rescued.

Authorities have offered a $215,000 (£145,000) reward for a man called Mohammed Mohamud, who has been identified as a possible mastermind of the attack