Islamist gunmen are suspected to be behind the attack at a college in Nigeria’s northeast that killed as many as 50 students.
The students were shot and killed while they slept inside their dorms at the Yobe State College of Agriculture. Nigeria’s northeast is in a state of emergency amidst an insurgency by Islamists from the Boko Haram group.
The Boko Haram is attempting to overthrow the government in Nigeria to form an Islamic state and many attacks have been launched at different schools.
Casualties from Saturday’s attack vary. However, one local politician told reporters that more than 50 students were shot and killed. The Nigerian politician said the dead bodies filled two vans.
Another witness was quoted by a news agency as saying that 40 bodies were at the hospital, most of which were young men thought to be students.
The provost of the college said that the death toll could pass the 50 mark, adding that the local authorities were still collecting dead bodies and that over 1,000 students fled campus.
The gunmen, after shooting the students, set fire to some of the classrooms at the school, said a spokesperson for the military. The school is located in the rural district of Gujba,
This past May, Goodluck Jonathan, the President of Nigeria ordered troops to attack Boko Haram and on May 14, he declared a state of emergency for the country’s northeast.
Many of the militants from Boko Harem left their locations in the country’s northeast after that military action and violence dropped initially, but revenge attacks followed quickly.
Boko Haram, in June, attacked schools twice in the area. In one, nine children died when a school was attacked near Maiduguri, and 13 teachers and students died in a Damaturu school.
In July, in the state of Yobe, Islamists attacked the dormitories of a school and killed 42 people with explosives and guns.