43 killed in Nigeria in suspected Boko Haram school attack

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43 killed in Nigeria in suspected Boko Haram school attack

The attackers reportedly hurled explosives into student residential buildings, sprayed gunfire into rooms and hacked a number of students to death.

By (AFP)

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Published: Thu 27 Feb 2014, 1:47 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 12:44 AM

Suspected Boko Haram militants killed 43 people on Tuesday when they attacked secondary school students as they slept in the latest school massacre to hit Nigeria’s troubled northeast.

The raid at 2am (0100 GMT) targeted the Federal Government College in the town of Buni Yadi in Yobe state and bore the hallmarks of a similar attack last September in which 40 died.

The attackers reportedly hurled explosives into student residential buildings, sprayed gunfire into rooms and hacked a number of students to death.

A senior medical source at the Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital in Yobe’s capital Damaturu said the gunmen only targeted male students and that female students were “spared”.

“So far, 43 bodies have been brought (from the college) and are lying at the morgue,” said the source, who requested anonymity.

A statement released by President Goodluck Jonathan’s office described the killing by people it called “deranged terrorists and fanatics”, as “callous and senseless”.

“The president wholly condemns the heinous, brutal and mindless killing of the guiltless students by deranged terrorists and fanatics who have clearly lost all human morality...”

Yobe has been one of the hardest-hit areas in Boko Haram’s four-and-half year uprising, which has killed thousands of people.

The name Boko Haram means “Western Education is forbidden”.

The group has been blamed for waves of school attacks, especially in Yobe, where scores of students have been slaughtered in the last year.

The state’s police chief, Sanusi Rufai, who confirmed the attack and had given an earlier death toll of 29, went to Buni Yadi — roughly 60 kilometres from the state capital Damaturu — with Governor Ibrahim Geidam to assess the damage.

Damaturu resident Babagoni Musa said that four ambulances carrying dead bodies drove past his shop, which falls on the road from Buni Yadi.

“They had tree branches on them which is a sign used here to signify a corpse is in a vehicle,” he said.

People whose relatives were studying at the college had surrounded the morgue and were desperately seeking information about those killed, forcing the military take control of the building to restore calm, the hospital source said.

Yobe is one of three northeastern states which was placed under emergency rule in May last year when the military launched a massive operation to crush the Boko Haram uprising.

At least 40 students were killed in September at an agriculture training college in Yobe after Boko Haram gunmen stormed a series of dorms in the middle of the night and sprayed gunfire on sleeping students.

More than 1,000 people have been killed in the northeast since the emergency measures were imposed, despite the enhanced military presence.

Boko Haram, declared a terrorist organisation by Nigeria and the United States, has said it is fighting to create an Islamic state in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north.


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