YOLA, NIGERIA - A suicide bombing at a school in the northeastern Nigerian town of Potiskum ended with six students injured and the suicide bomber dead.
Extremist group Boko Haram, which has remained active in the northeast despite recent military setbacks, is suspected to have been responsible.
The attack started when a man appeared at the gate of the town’s College of Administrative and Business Studies.
Student Nasiru Ibrahim, a witness to the event, said the students had just come out of their lectures when they saw a man at the gate. Ibrahim said the man suddenly pulled a gun out from under his shirt, started shooting and then blew himself up.
According to the rector of the college, Ali Goni, the bomber wanted to infiltrate the school and blow up the students, but people ran and disbursed as he open fire.
“Students [were] about to enter their classes. When he could not find his way silently to plant the bomb, he start shooting. And the shooting led to the dispersion of all the students in the institution,” said Goni.
Of the six students four were injured seriously, with some sustaining gunshot wounds to their back, stomach and legs.
Goni said the bomber blew himself up when he saw that he was going to be apprehended.
According to Goni, the bomber acted alone but Yobe State's police commissioner said that two other suspected suicide bombers were arrested after the shooting.
The school had guards, but Ibrahim said they ran away when the firing started. Goni said classes at the school are suspended as the college reviews its security procedures.
Potiskum’s bus stations and markets repeatedly have been hit by Boko Haram insurgents during the group's six-year quest to create an Islamic state in northeastern Nigeria.
The group has also targeted schools in the Yobe State town and across the country’s north. In November, a suicide bomber disguised as a student struck a secondary school in Potiskum, killing 47 and leaving 79 injured.
The latest was one of the first major attacks on a school since Nigeria joined with its neighbors in a multinational offensive against Boko Haram earlier this year. The militaries have managed to push the group out of most of the territory it had claimed in the northeast.