News / Africa

Gunmen Kill 42 in Attack on Nigerian School

Map of Gujba, Nigeria, site of Boko Haram shootingsMap of Gujba, Nigeria, site of Boko Haram shootings
x
Map of Gujba, Nigeria, site of Boko Haram shootings
Map of Gujba, Nigeria, site of Boko Haram shootings
Anne Look
Gunmen attacked a boarding school in northern Nigeria in the middle of the night and killed at least 42 students, according to sources at the hospital morgue.  Security forces at the scene said it is too soon to give exact figures on dead and wounded.  

The military spokesman for Nigeria's Yobe state said the attack took place after Midnight Sunday at the College of Agriculture in the rural district of Gujba outside the state capital, Damaturu.

Captain Eli Lazarus of the Joint Military Task Force said the attackers are suspected to belong to the militant Islamist sect Boko Haram.  

"When the terrorists arrived at the school, they surrounded the male hotel [dormitory], opened fire indiscriminately which led to the death of several students and several others were wounded," Lazarus said. "At present, our troops are in the general area trying to see if we can arrest the fleeing terrorists in the direction that they are fleeing."

Captain Lazarus said by mid-day, response teams were still combing the surrounding bush for students who fled, some of them believed to be wounded.

VOA Hausa service spoke to a student who jumped out the window of his dormitory amid screams and gunfire.  He and other students ran in the direction of the farms surrounding the campus.  The student said gunmen pursued them, shooting at them and killing some of the fleeing students.  Those who escaped were too scared to come out until daylight.

Abubakar Yahaya ran to the school to look for his son who was a student there.  He told VOA he saw bodies on the ground inside and outside the dormitory.
Yahaya later found his son's body at the hospital morgue.
 
He says it looked like some of the students had been shot while trying to run for their lives, while others were shot inside the dormitory as they could not escape.  He says he saw about 18 wounded students being taken away in ambulances and he counted 42 dead bodies, including that of his son, at the morgue.

This is not the first attack of this nature in Yobe State.  In July, Boko Haram militants raided the dormitories of a secondary school in Mamudo during the night, killing at least 29 people, most of them students.

The government of Yobe state had closed all its schools after the Mamudo attack, but recently reopened them to allow students to take their final exams.
The sect's nickname, Boko Haram, means "Western education is sacrilege" and it has routinely targeted schools, along with military and police installations, churches and markets.

The insurgency has been raging in northern Nigeria since 2009.  The violence has killed more than 3,000 people.  In May, the Nigerian military launched a big offensive against the sect in the northeast, but the hit-and-run attacks, often against civilians, have continued.   

Ardo Hazzad contributed to this report from BAUCHI, NIGERIA.

You May Like

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More