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Nigeria school massacre: 41 children killed, some burned alive

Published time: July 06, 2013 14:32
School pupils play beside the burnt main auditorium of Maiduguri Experimental School, a private nursery, primary and secondary school burnt by the Islamist group Boko Haram to keep children away from school in Maiduguri, northeastern Nigeria (AFP Photo)

School pupils play beside the burnt main auditorium of Maiduguri Experimental School, a private nursery, primary and secondary school burnt by the Islamist group Boko Haram to keep children away from school in Maiduguri, northeastern Nigeria (AFP Photo)

41 students and an English teacher have been killed in an Islamic extremist attack on a boarding school in northeast Nigeria. Some students were burned alive, according to survivors being treated for burn and gunshot wounds.

"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.

Militants arrived on the scene with vessels carrying large quantities of fuel, which they used to torch the building. Those who tried to flee the burning wreckage were shot, the survivors said.  

The attack on Government Secondary School in Mamudo town in the northeastern Yobe state is the latest in a series of militant attacks targeting children.

Chaotic scenes were visible at the nearby hospital which was treating victims of the attack as distressed screaming parents attempted to identify their own children through charred bodies and victims of shootings, according to AP.   

A farmer named Malam Abdullahi located the bodies of two of his sons: a 10-year-old who had been shot in the back as he apparently attempted to escape, and a 12-year-old who had taken a bullet to the chest.

“That's it, I'm taking my other boys out of school,” he said tearfully. Abdullahi has three younger children who study nearby.

“It's not safe,” he said. “The gunmen are attacking schools and there is no protection for students despite all the soldiers.”

A state of emergency was declared in Yobe in May, with President Goodluck Jonathan sending thousands of troops to the region. Two other northern states, Borno and Adamawa, have had similar emergency conditions imposed on them.

The area has been targeted by the Boko Haram militant group repeatedly. The sect’s name means “western education is sacrilege.”

Since 2010, dozens of schools have been torched and over 1,600 victims murdered by extremists across the country.

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