Nigeria college massacre: Boko Haram kill over 50 students while asleep

Last Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013 - 16:47

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Yobe: Just three days before Nigeria is to celebrate its 53rd Independence Day, the country had to witness a tragic massacre as gunmen numbering over 200 stormed the College of Agriculture in Yobe state, killing over 50 students as they slept in dormitories.

The gunmen are suspected to belong to the Islamist militant group Boko Haram which means ‘Western education is a sin’. The militants are notorious for staging numerous attacks across Nigeria, especially on schools and have intensified attacks on civilians in recent weeks in revenge for a military offensive against its insurgency.

They are fighting to topple the government in Nigeria and establish an Islamic state.

The attack on the College of Agriculture occurred yesterday when gunmen reportedly 200 in number raided the college and started firing at sleeping students, killing over 50 and leaving over 100 unaccounted for, local media reports said.

They also destroyed classrooms, hostels, administrative blocks, staff quarters and cars belonging to the college.

"They came with guns around 1 a.m. (2400 GMT) and went directly to the male hostel and opened fire on them ... The college is in the bush so the other students were running around helplessly as guns went off and some of them were shot down," said Ahmed Gujunba, a taxi driver who lives by the college.

The death toll could rise as the authorities in Yobe State said that they were still recovering bodies from the bush.

Condemning the attack, President Jonathan Goodluck said on national TV, that it was an “irrational” act.
Sounding extremely perturbed, President questioned the militants’ unjustifiable act saying , “I ask, why did you kill them? Is it based on ethnic sentiments? In that case, what ethnic groups did the students come from? Is it because you don’t like the face of the president? If you kill them, has the president changed? Is it political? “

The President further said that the militants have intensified their action again, four months after an emergency was clamped in north east Nigeria on May 14.

“After I declared a state of emergency, the crisis came down but after sometime now they have been looking at soft spots and local places where you will not expect them to hit,” the President said.

The recent attack by Boko Haram comes just a week after they carried out another attack at Benishek town in neighbouring Borno State, killing several people and razing down houses.



First Published: Monday, September 30, 2013 - 09:27

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