Friday, April 18, 2014
Los Angeles Times
JOHANNESBURG - Gunmen in northern Nigeria burst into a college dormitory early Sunday morning, spraying bullets and killing students indiscriminately.
At least 40 people were killed, according to authorities.
Like in the attack in Nairobi, Kenya, last week, the gunmen are believed to come from a violent Islamist group with a long history of indiscriminate attacks, often killing Muslim civilians.
Boko Haram, the Nigerian terror group that authorities blamed for the college attack, is believed to have links with al-Qaida affiliates in West Africa. Al-Shabab, the group that claimed responsibility for the Nairobi shopping attack that killed 67 civilians and soldiers, is affiliated with al-Qaida.
Sunday's attack in the town of Gujba, near Damaturu, the capital of Yobe state, came as students in the college were sleeping in their dormitory at a local college of agriculture.
"They attacked our students while they were sleeping in their hostels," the school provost, Molima Idi Mato, told The Associated Press.
Although there was no immediate claim of responsibility, the attack bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram, which is opposed to secular education and has carried out many attacks on schools and colleges.
The group's name means "Western education is a sin" in the local Hausa language.
The group is seeking to impose sharia law across Nigeria, a country divided between the poverty-stricken north, populated mainly by Muslims, and the predominantly Christian south.
Boko Haram has killed thousands of people in recent years in an insurgency that extends across most of Nigeria's northern states. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan imposed a state of emergency in many northern states in May, but security forces have struggled against Boko Haram.