Islamic terrorists stormed the College of Agriculture in rural Gujba, Nigeria, opening fire on sleeping students and others trying to run for cover. Outside, other terrorists gathered more students and began killing them one group at a time. More than 40 students were killed in the terrorist attack that took place on Sunday, Sept 29. The Nigerian State Police Commissioner, Sanusi Rufai said he suspects Boko Haram, a known extremist group to be behind the attack. The bloodshed that Nigeria faces now is just more in a line of terrorist attacks similar to this in recent months, including at a school located in Potiskum, just 30 miles away from today’s attack, where 27 students and a teacher were killed.
Since 2009, when Boko Haram changed from a religious group to a militant faction, it has been trying to overtake the government of Nigeria and turn the country into an Islamic state. Boko Haram has been held responsible for killing thousands in an attempt to eliminate any sign of Western culture. Since the Boko Haram extremists consider schools an important part of Western culture, they have been targeting schools.
The Boko Haram attacked two schools in the north-east region in June. In one school in the outskirts of Maiduguri, at least nine children were killed, while 13 students and a teacher were killed in a Damaturu school.
The bloodshed continued into July, with the attack on the Potiskum school as Nigeria faced more students killed in terrorist attacks. The shooting in Potiskum, resulted in officials closing all schools. But, two weeks ago, Mohammed Lamin, the state commissioner of education held a press conference and promised protection to the schools if they would reopen. The College of Agriculture was one of the schools that did, but, as of now, no security forces have been stationed there.
Boko Haram has increased its attacks on civilians in retaliation of Nigerian military offensives toward the group. Witnesses said they arrived at the college on motorcycles and in two all-terrain vehicles. The extremists attacked the four men’s hostels; some of the attackers were wearing Nigerian camouflage military uniforms. The exact death toll is still unknown, but most of those killed were between the ages of 18 and 20-years old. Those who survived the attack did so by escaping into the bush.
Since 2010, more than 1.700 people have died at the hands of the Boko Harem militants, causing a military state of emergency to be called in Northeastern Nigeria. In the past week they have killed at least 30 other civilians; 27 of these died ,in separate attacks on two villages near Cameroon, and in Dorawa, a town 100 kilometers from Damaturu, where a minister, his son and a village official were killed.
The bloody bodies of those killed in this latest attack have been arranged on the ground for identification by family members. And as Nigeria faces more bloodshed, the country is asking itself how many more students will be killed in terrorist attacks.
By: Lisa Nance