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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid