Kenya attack
Kenya Defence Forces soldiers move behind a thicket in Garissa town in this photograph taken from a mobile phone April 2, 2015.Reuters

The death toll from an attack by Al-Shabaab militants on a university campus in Kenya rose to as high as 147, as the hostage situation ended after four terrorists were killed. 

Masked gunmen entered the Garissa University College campus in northern Kenya, taking several students hostage on Thursday.

Somalia-based Al-Shabaab terror group claimed responsibility for the attack.  

 Kenya's National Disaster Operation Centre said through its Twitter account that there were 147 confirmed casualties among 815 students at the university. 

Heavy gunfire and explosions were heard on the campus, which came under attack at about 5.30 am local time, according to Kenya's Daily Nation.

The masked gunmen attacked as students were sleeping in their dormitories. Two security guards were among the first to be shot dead by the gunmen.