Nigeria – At least 40 Nigerian students were killed, with some of them in their beds, by suspected Islamists militants Boko Haram.
It was reported that several gunmen stormed a dormitory in College of Agriculture in Yobe state of Nigeria and opened fire at the sleeping male students early Sunday.
Witnesses also said that rebels even took some of the students outside before shooting while killing also those who are trying to escape from the area. One of the survivors, Idris, recalled:
“They started gathering students into groups outside, then they opened fire and killed one group and then moved onto the next group and killed them. It was so terrible.”
Another witness, a taxi driver named Ahmed Gujumba who lived near the school also told reporters;
“They came with guns around 1 am and went directly to the male hostel and opened fire on them … The college is in the bush so the other students were running around helplessly as guns went off and some of them were shot down,”
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan condemned the barbaric attack on innocent students and described it as a ‘creation of evil’. In his official statement, the president said;
“The people they killed they don’t even know them. This is the creation of the devil … No Boko Haram or any group can frustrate this country … I assure Nigerians we’ll do what is required to protect them,”
Nigerian authorities declared that the body count already reached 42 and can go as high as 50. Most of the dead victims are boys and students of the said school.
Boko Haram, the suspected group behind the assault, is an Islamic separatist who is fighting for the establishment of an Islamic State in northern part of Nigeria. The group, led by Abubakar Shekau, had launched series of violent attacks on civilians in recent weeks as a retaliation on military’s offensive against their insurgency.
Last June, at least 9 children were killed in a school in Maiduguri, and another 13 students and teachers in a school in Damaturu. In July the group is also suspected behind the killing of 42 people in another school dormitory in Mamudo.
Boko Haram is mostly targeting schools due to its hatred and opposition to Western culture, the school being its symbol. The name Boko Haram itself means ‘ Western education is forbidden.’
The recent violence came just days after a similar incident in Nairobi, Kenya shopping mall claimed 67 lives. The attack is believed to be perpetrated by Somalia-based Al Shabab fighters.
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