Death toll in Nigeria school massacre up to 59

By Sam Okocha

LAGOS, Nigeria – Dozens of Nigerian students were massacred at the Federal Government College early Tuesday morning in the northeastern state of Yobe. Fifty-nine male students died when gunmen suspected to be members of Islamist group Boko Haram set fire to a dormitory where they slept. Those who tried to escape were either shot or hacked to death with machetes.

The attackers spared the female students at the college in the town of Buni Yadi in Yobe state. The governor’s spokesperson said he would find out why the school was left unguarded.  A similar attack last September left more than 40 students dead at the Yobe State College of Agriculture in Gujba, the same local government area where the latest killing took place.

An official at the Specialist Hospital Damaturu said the number of those killed rose when ”more bodies were discovered in the bush after the students who had escaped with bullet wounds died from their injuries,” according to Reuters.

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan’s released a statement, describing the latest killing as “callous and senseless.” Yobe is one of three northeastern states placed under emergency rule in May when the Nigerian army launched a military campaign to crush the four-and-a-half year Boko Haram uprising which has killed thousands of people.

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