Online Australia reports Islamic militants attacked a boarding school in northeast Nigeria, killing 42 people, mostly students, some of the pupils were burned alive.
Gunmen believed to be Islamists from Nigeria’s Boko Haram insurgent group, whose name means “Western education is sacrilege“, committed the overnight attack on a secondary school in restive Yobe state, a medical worker and residents said Saturday.
“We received 42 dead bodies of students and other staff of Government Secondary School (in) Mamudo last night. Some of them had gunshot wounds while many of them had burns and ruptured tissues,” Haliru Aliyu of the Potiskum General Hospital told AFP.
Mamudo is some five kilometres from Potiskum, the commercial hub of Yobe State which has been a flashpoint in the Boko Haram insurgency in recent months.
“We were sleeping when we heard gunshots. When I woke up, someone was pointing a gun at me,” said 15-year-old Musa Hassan.
He put his arm up in defence, and suffered a gunshot that blew off all four fingers on his right hand, the one he uses to write with.
He said the gunmen came armed with jerry cans of fuel that they used to torch the school’s administrative block and one of the hostels.
“They burned the children alive,” he said, the horror showing in his wide eyes.
He and teachers at the morgue said dozens of children from the 1200-student school escaped into the bush but have not been seen since.
Islamic militants from Boko Haram and breakaway groups have killed more than 1600 civilians in suicide bombings and other attacks since 2010, according to an Associated Press count.
The militants have increasingly targeted civilians, including health workers on vaccination campaigns, teachers and government workers.
Farmers have been driven from their land by the extremists and by military roadblocks, raising the specter of a food shortage to add to the woes of a people already hampered by the military’s shutdown of cell phone service and ban on using satellite telephones.