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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid