Monday, July 8, 2013

'Dozens dead' in school attack in Nigeria's Yobe state

'Survivors say they woke up to find gunmen pointing their guns at them,' says the BBC

By Dan Wooding, who was born in Nigeria
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

MAMUDO TOWN, YOBE STATE, NIGERIA (ANS) -- At least 42 people, many of whom were students, teachers, medical workers and residents, have been killed in a pre-dawn attack by suspected Boko Haram Islamists on a school in northeastern Nigeria, reports say.

In this photo taken with a mobile phone a doctor attends to a student from Government Secondary School in Mamudo, at the Potiskum General Hospital, Nigeria, following an attack by gunmen
According to the BBC, eyewitnesses said some of the victims were burned alive in the attack, in Mamudo town, Yobe state, which is the deadliest attack yet on schools in Nigeria's embattled northeast.

"Survivors say they woke up to find gunmen pointing their guns at them," says the BBC.

The attack took place on Saturday July 6, 2013, when Islamic militants attacked the boarding school before dawn, dousing a dormitory in fuel and lighting it ablaze as students slept, survivors said.

Dozens of schools, including many run by Christians, have been burned in attacks by Islamists since 2010.

"Yobe is one of three states where President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in May, sending thousands of troops to the area," said the BBC.

Devastation at the school
A reporter from a press agency said he found chaotic scenes at the hospital in nearby Potiskum, where traumatized parents struggled to identify their children among the charred bodies and gunshot victims.

Survivors said suspected militants arrived with containers full of fuel and set fire to the school. Some students were burned alive, others were shot as they tried to flee.

The BBC's Will Ross, in Lagos, says this area has frequently been attacked by the Boko Haram militant group.

"More than 600 people were believed to have been killed in 2012 by the group, which is fighting to overthrow the government and create an Islamic state in Nigeria's predominantly Muslim north," added the BBC.

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