Damaturu, Nigeria – Suspected Islamic militants killed dozens of students in a pre-dawn attack on a northeast Nigerian college, survivors say, setting ablaze a locked hostel and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive.
Adamu Garba said he and other teachers who ran away through the bush estimate 40 students died in the assault that began around 02:00 on Tuesday at the Federal Government College Buni Yadi. It is a co-ed school about 70km south of Damaturu, the capital of Yobe state, and difficult to communicate with because extremists last year destroyed the cell phone tower there.
Soldiers still are gathering corpses so he could not give an exact number of dead, said military spokesman Captain Eli Lazarus.
Garba, who teaches at a secondary school attached to the college, said the attackers first set ablaze the college administrative block, then moved to the hostels, where they locked students in and started firebombing the buildings.
At one hostel, he said, “students were trying to climb out of the windows and they were slaughtered like sheep by the terrorists who slit their throats. Others who ran were gunned down.” He said students who could not escape were burned alive.
He spoke to The Associated Press in Damaturu, where he and several other teachers had made their way.
Tuesday’s attack brings the toll from attacks blamed on Boko Haram to more than 300 civilians killed this month alone.