After herding the female students into a classroom, Islamic militants from the group ‘Boko Haram’ (meaning Western education is sin) set fire to a dormitory fatally burning and using machetes to slaughter dozens of male students in an attack on a state college in northeastern Nigeria. It was the 4th school assault by Boko Haram in less than a year.
NY Times The assailants, who have vilified public education as blasphemous, then burned down dormitories and other buildings and shot at anyone trying to escape. None of the women were reported to have been harmed. They staged the ambush when soldiers in a military garrison assigned to protect the school were absent.
The attackers then set about killing the male students, burning alive at least eight, and cutting the throats of the others, the commissioner said. “Some of them were ready to graduate,” Mr. Bego said. “These are students who were writing their final exams.”
At least 29 students, ages 16 to 18, died in what looked to be part of a widening campaign by the group. More than 200 people have been fatally shot in the region’s remote villages and towns in the last four weeks in what officials have called a spree of apparently random massacres by members of Boko Haram.
The violence has put the government of President Goodluck Jonathan on the defensive and left the army in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, struggling for a strategy after years of failed counterinsurgency efforts.
The assailants seemed to enjoy unfettered access to the college campus chosen for the latest assault, which stirred outrage among residents in the area. In September, 40 students were killed in a similar assault at a nearby state school. Boko Haram deliberately targets state educational institutions as part of its Islamist, antisecular campaign.
Mr. Bego said it was unclear why the nearby military post was not staffed at the time of the attack. After the attackers separated the students, they told the women to read the Quran, go home and find husbands, according to the Yobe State police commissioner, Sanusi Rufai.