Courtesy of The Associated Press
POTISKUM, Nigeria (AP) — Suspected Islamic extremists attacked an agricultural college in the dead of night, gunning down dozens of students as they slept in dormitories and torching classrooms, the school’s provost said, reporting the latest violence in northeastern Nigeria’s ongoing Islamic uprising.
As many as 50 students may have been killed in the assault that began at about 1 a.m. Sunday in rural Gujba, Provost Molima Idi Mato of Yobe State College of Agriculture, told The Associated Press.
“They attacked our students while they were sleeping in their hostels, they opened fire at them,” he said.
He said he could not give an exact death toll as security forces still are recovering bodies of students mostly aged between 18 and 22.
The Nigerian military has collected 42 bodies and transported 18 wounded students to Damaturu Specialist Hospital, 40 kilometers (25) miles north, said a military intelligence official, who insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press.
The extremists rode into the college in two double-cabin pickup all-terrain vehicles and on motorcycles, some dressed in Nigerian military camouflage uniforms, a surviving student, Ibrahim Mohammed, told the AP. He said they appeared to know the layout of the college, attacking the four male hostels but avoiding the one hostel reserved for women.
“We ran into the bush, nobody is left in the school now,” Mohammed said.