Nigerian College Students Latest Victims of Islamist Militants

Nigerian shooting

At least 40 or more, male students have been shot at a Nigerian college by suspected Isalmist militants. Possibly as many as a dozen or more have been injured and taken to local hospitals. According to Reuters three gunmen entered a hostel about 1 AM Sunday, took some of the students outside and shot them. They also shot others as they attempted to flee. There are also reports some were shot as they were sleeping.

Nigerian military response teams are still combing the surrounding area of the boarding school looking for students who may have fled the terrorists. They are also looking for the suspects. The attack was on one of the all-male dormitories at the school.  The College of Agriculture is located in Gujab, a rural area about 30 miles south of Damaturu, in the Nigerian state of Yobe. The bodies have been taken to Damaturu Specialist Hospital.

Captain Eli Lazarus of the Joint Military Task Force said the three gunmen belong to Boko Haram, a militant Islamist group, also called “The Congregation and People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad” who strongly believe in the establishment of Sharia law in Nigeria and the elimination of westernization in the country. They are known for bombing churches, attacking schools and killing Christians. They are trying to establish  an Islamist state in northeast Nigeria.

In 2009 the group changed its tactics, becoming more radical and aligning themselves with the al Qaeda-linked Ansaru. In 2009 Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in three states as a result of the violence. The most notable attack by the group came in July of this year when killed 41 students when they attacked the Government Secondary School in Mamudo. Before the group became more violent, a spokesman for the group, Abu Zinnira, said they established that the youth in Borno and Yobe states “are now against out course. They have connived with security operatives and are actively supporting the government of Nigeria in its war against us. We have resolved to fight back.”

After the July attack all schools were closed and just recently reopened. The violence by Boko Haram is believed to have killed over 3,000 people since 2009.

Last Monday, President Barack Obama met with Jonathan in New York and told him he “needs to get his act together” to move Nigeria forward. Other than that there are very few details of what else was said at the meeting, only that it was at first frank and then became cordial. Obama and his team want to make sure that Nigeria will have a fair and free election in 2015 like they have promised. In a statement from the White House after the meeting, it was said that “President Jonathan has committed to building on the democratic process.”

Written by: Paul Roy

Sources:

Reuters

Daily Times

NGR Guardian News

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