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

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs