Gunmen kill at least 40 in attack on Nigerian college

Gunmen kill at least 40 in attack on Nigerian college

DAMATURU - Reuters
Gunmen killed at least 40 people Sept.29 in an attack on a college in northeast Nigeria, a hospital source said, in a region where Islamist militants have targeted schools and universities.

Islamist sect Boko Haram has intensified attacks on civilian targets in recent weeks in reaction to a military offensive against its insurgency.

Gunmen stormed the College of Agriculture in Yobe state and shot students as they slept in the early hours of Sept.29, state police commissioner Sanusi Rufai said.

Suspected Boko Haram militants have targeted several schools in recent months, including a raid which killed 27 students and a teacher at a school in Potiskum, a town about 50 kilometers from the site of attack.

Thousands have been killed since Boko Haram launched its uprising against the state in 2009, turning itself from a clerical movement opposed to Western culture into an armed militia with growing links to al-Qaeda’s West African wing.

The Defense Ministry has said that an offensive launched against Boko Haram in mid-May has decimated the group and scattered their fighters across remote parts of the northeast. While many of the recent attacks have occurred in more remote areas, often targeting defenseless civilians, the unchecked killing has cast doubt on the success of the military’s campaign. The northeast remains under a state of emergency imposed on May 14.