According to the Nigerian military, Islamic extremists from the Boko Haram group in north-eastern Nigeria are suspected to have attacked a boarding school in Yobe, Nigeria. The brutal assault is alleged to have occurred in the early morning hours on Tuesday.
The Government College boarding school in Bodi Yodi is said to be the site of the attack. Teachers at the remote location told the Associated Press they believe as many as forty students were murdered, though other reports put the number at twenty-nine.
By the time military arrived on the scene, dozens of boys were found dead. Some of their bodies were reported to have been "burned to ashes". Residents also claim to have seen the victims having their throats slit.
While Yobe military officials have confirmed that a gruesome incident took place, they are unable to shed much light on exactly what happened at the school.
Yobe military spokesman Lazarus Eli told the AFP that it’s still not clear how many students were harmed in the attack. Said Eli, “Details are still sketchy due to [a] lack of telephone access.”
Last week or so, Boko Haram warned they were going to target schools and students next. We thought undergrads. They meant 13-yr-olds
— Atom Lim (@AtomLim) February 25, 2014
Boko-Haram is not a Northern Thing. Nigerians are being killed daily. The killings need to stop
— opinion_river (@opinion_river) February 25, 2014
The Boko Haram is strongly suspected to be behind these latest killings in large part due to the location of this attack. It is a short distance from a similar mass murder carried out by the group last September.
The Boko Haram has been blamed for thousands of deaths going back to 2009. This is about the time that the Islamic extremist group launched a bloody campaign to install their version of Islamic law in the region.
President Goodluck Jonathan has responded to the terrorist group by launching an all-out military attack. The president’s actions have been criticized by some who feel this led to an escalation of violence in the region and the targeting of citizens by Boko Haram as retaliation.
Jonathan responded to the criticism by saying that the military has been successful in pushing back the extremists to a small north-eastern area of the Yobe state and that the Nigerian government is working closely with Cameroon to keep the rebels from escaping across the border after staging their attacks.
BBC’s Will Ross, who is located in Nigeria, says that Yobe has been relatively peaceful this year, especially when compared with neighboring Borno. There, hundreds of citizens have been killed by militants.
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