Kenya's government has welcomed the reported death of Dulyadeyn, the al-Shabab militant who allegedly organized the massacre at Garissa University College in April 2105, says Kenyan spokesman Erick Kiraithe.
In an interview with VOA in Nairobi, Kiraithe said the death will help heal the wounds left by the deadly assault.
"What we would want to say as a government is that every victory against terrorism is very welcome,” Kiraithe said. “The pain and suffering of the parents, friends and relatives of those who died in Garissa is still very fresh among us and, therefore, there is a little bit of relief that those who were responsible are finally getting it, although it would have been greater for us if we had an opportunity to bring them to justice."
Mohamed Mohamud, better known as Dulyadeyn, was believed to be the organizer of the gruesome attack, in which al-Shabab gunmen killed 148 people, nearly all of them students.
FILE - University students join a demonstration condemning the gunmen attack at the Garissa University campus, in the Kenyan coastal port city of Mombasa, April 8, 2015.
Miriam Njeri was a student at Garissa University at the time, but transferred to Moi University in Eldoret after that school admitted all Garissa students unconditionally following the attack.
"And now that the mastermind is dead, I'm so happy and so relieved,” Njeri said. “I'm so relieved that they will not plan another attack on another university, but I'm also afraid that another mastermind may come up."
Dulyadeyn was reportedly killed Tuesday night in Bulo Gadud, a town loyal to al-Shabab, about 30 kilometers north of the port of Kismayo.
A local Somali official told VOA that Dulyadeyn was killed in a raid by U.S.-trained Somali commandos.
Another official said the militant was killed by U.S. missiles. However, a U.S. military spokesperson said Thursday that American forces played only an "advise-and-assist role" in a ground operation carried out by the Somali National Army.
Amos Wangwa in Nairobi contributed to this report.