People react after meeting their relative (C) who was rescued from the Garissa University attack at Nyayo stadium in Kenya's capital Nairobi following Thursday's seige by gunmen in their campus in Garissa. Picture: Thomas Mukoya

Nairobi - Kenya on Sunday identified one of the al Shabaab gunmen who massacred students at a northeastern university as the son of a Kenyan government official, the interior ministry said.

Spokesman Mwenda Njoka said Abdirahim Abdullahi was one of the four gunmen who attacked the Garissa University College campus on Thursday, killing nearly 150 people.

“The father had reported to security agents that his son had disappeared from home... and was helping the police try to trace his son by the time the Garissa terror attack happened,” Njoka told Reuters in a text message.