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Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 21 December, 2014

Gun attack on Nigerian college leaves up to 50 dead

The attack is believed to have been carried out by Islamic extremists and happened as students slept in their dormitories.

Nigerian soldiers stand guard at the offices of the state-run TV station. (Dated 6 June)
Nigerian soldiers stand guard at the offices of the state-run TV station. (Dated 6 June)
Image: AP Photo/Jon Gambrell

UP TO 50 people have been killed by suspected Islamic extremists in an attack on a college in north-eastern Nigeria.

The attack happened in the dead of night, with the militant group torching classrooms and gunning down dozens of students as they slept in dormitories. The attack comes amid an ongoing Islamic uprising in the north-east of the country.

Molima Idi Mato, provost of the Yobe State College of Agriculture said that as many as 50 students may have been killed in the attack that began at about 1am on Sunday in rural Gujba. He said he could not give an exact toll as security forces are still recovering bodies.

The other 1,000 students enrolled have fled the college that is about 40km north of the scene of similar school attacks around Damaturu town.

There were no security forces stationed at the college despite government assurances, said Mato. The state commission for education, Mohammmed Lamin, called a news conference two weeks ago urging all schools to reopen and promising protection from soldiers and police.

Most schools in the area closed after militants on 6 July killed pupils and a teacher, burning some alive in their hostels, at Mamudo outside Damaturu.

Northeastern Nigeria is in a military state of emergency against an Islamic uprising prosecuted by Boko Haram militants who have killed more than 1,700 people since 2010 in their quest for an Islamic state. Boko Haram means Western education is forbidden.

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