Schools closed after massacre in Nigeria
LAGOS - Agence France-Presse
Young women stand in front of a school in Maiduguri in this file photo. Yobe state has ordered the closure of secondary schools after the attack. AP photoNigeria’s northeastern Yobe state ordered July 7 the closure of all secondary schools after a massacre that saw suspected Islamist extremists kill 42 people in a gun and bomb attack on a boarding school.
Yobe state governor Ibrahim Gaidam has “directed that all secondary schools in the state be closed down from Monday 8th July 2013 until a new academic session begins in September,” a government statement said.
The attack early Saturday in the Mamudo district saw assailants, believed to be Boko Haram Islamists, round up students and staff in a dormitory before throwing explosives inside and opening fire, said Haliru Aliyu of Potiskum General Hospital, quoting witnesses who escaped.
It was the third school attack in the region in recent weeks, including two in Yobe. The state government also called on the military to restore mobile phone service, saying it was preventing residents from reporting suspicious activity.
Insurgency since 2009
Nigeria’s military cut phone service in much of the country’s northeast in mid-May, when it launched a sweeping offensive seeking to end a four-year insurgency by Boko Haram. Satellite phones have also been banned, with the military saying insurgents use them to plan attacks. Landline service is extremely rare in Nigeria. Boko Haram, which translates roughly to “Western education is a sin,” has repeatedly targeted schools in the northeast as part of its insurgency.
Violence linked to the Boko Haram insurgency has left some 3,600 people dead since 2009, including killings by security forces, which have come under criticism for alleged abuses.