Dozens of students killed in Nigerian school massacre

2014-02-25 16:28

Damaturu – Suspected Boko Haram Islamists killed dozens of students in a predawn attack on a northeast Nigerian college, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked hostel and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burnt alive.

Adamu Garba said he and other teachers who ran away through the bush estimate 40 students died in the assault that began around 2am today at the Federal Government College at Buni Yadi. It is a co-ed school about 70km south of Damaturu, the capital of Yobe state, and difficult to communicate with because extremists last year destroyed the cell phone tower there.

Soldiers are still gathering corpses so he could not give an exact number of dead, said military spokesperson Captain Eli Lazarus.

Garba, who teaches at a secondary school attached to the college, said the attackers first set ablaze the college administrative block, then moved to the hostels, where they locked students in and started firebombing the buildings.

At one hostel, he said, “students were trying to climb out of the windows and they were slaughtered like sheep by the terrorists who slit their throats. Others who ran were gunned down”.

He said students who could not escape were burned alive.

He spoke to the Associated Press in Damaturu, where he and several other teachers had made their way.

Today’s attack brings the toll from attacks blamed on Boko Haram to more than 300 civilians killed this month alone.

It is the first reported in Yobe state and the first school attack reported this year by suspected fighters of the terrorist network of Boko Haram – the nickname that means Western education is forbidden.

President Goodluck Jonathan told a news conference last night that the Boko Haram attacks were “quite worrisome” but that he was sure “we will get over it”.

Thousands of Nigerians have lost family members, houses, businesses, their belongings and livelihoods in the four-year-old rebellion.

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