News / Africa

Nigeria: Phones Down at Time of Deadly School Attack

The remains of the  burned out  Federal Government College  in Buni Yadi, Nigeria, Feb. 25, 2014.
The remains of the burned out Federal Government College in Buni Yadi, Nigeria, Feb. 25, 2014.
VOA News
The Nigerian military says bad phone lines prevented soldiers from responding to an attack on a school early Tuesday that killed nearly 60 people.

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
x
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
A spokesman for the Nigerian Joint Task Force, Eli Lazarus, says there were soldiers stationed near the Federal Government College Buni Yadi but because the phones were not working, nobody could reach them.

He says unidentified assailants attacked the school around 2 a.m. Tuesday, setting fire to buildings and killing students as they tried to flee.  

There has been no claim of responsibility, but local officials are blaming the radical Islamist sect Boko Haram for the attack.

Lazarus gave an official death toll of 29 but reporters who went to the local mortuary say 59 people were killed. The school is co-educational, but all of those killed were boys.

The governor of Yobe state, Ibrahim Gaidam, toured the ruins of the school on Tuesday and denounced the military's failure to protect the teenaged students.  

According to Nigerian newspaper reports, the governor said the soldiers assigned to protect the school had been withdrawn ahead of the attack.  

Lazarus says that a military checkpoint about eight kilometers away was recently taken down because of a Joint Task Force operation.

He also said it would not surprise him if the phone lines were deliberately cut ahead of the attack.

Fighters from Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is a sin," have carried out similar attacks on schools, government facilities and other targets.

The group is blamed for thousands of deaths since launching an uprising against the government in 2009.

In a statement Wednesday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the killings at the school, adding that "no objective can justify such violence."

Yobe is one of three states where President Goodluck Jonathan declared an emergency last May and launched operations to destroy Boko Haram camps.  Despite the efforts, large-scale attacks have continued.
 
VOA's Hausa Service contributed to this report.

You May Like

British Fighters On Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign Jihadists More

Audio Hit Song Delivers Ebola Message in Liberia

'Ebola in Town' has danceable beat, while also delivering serious message about avoiding infection More

Video New Technology Gives Surgeons Unprecedented Views of Patients’ Bodies

Technology offers real-time, interactive, medical visualization and is multi-dimensional More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: AUGUSTINE from: NIGERIA
March 02, 2014 9:16 AM
THE PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA AT A TIME SAID MEMBERS OF BOKO HARAM HAD INFILTRATED HIS GOVERNMENT AND THIS IS EVIDENTLY SEEN WHEN THERE ARE ATTACKS AND CLASSIFIED INFORMATION IS LEAKED


by: marc from: houston,tx
February 27, 2014 7:17 PM
There must be Boko Haram infilterator at the top echelon of the Nigerian Army.How else can anyone explain these set of "coincedences".

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
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.

AppleAndroid