Suspected Boko Haram Islamists have killed 29 people after opening fire on secondary school students as they slept in a dormitory, in the latest school massacre in Nigeria’s troubled northeast.
Gunmen stormed the Federal Government College in the town of Buni Yadi in Yobe state early on Tuesday, military spokesman Lazarus Eli said.
He said the gunmen “opened fire on student hostels” at the college, which is roughly 60 kilometres from the state capital Damaturu, and includes students aged 11 to 18.
Yobe’s police chief Sanusi Rufai told AFP that 29 people were killed but it was not immediately clear if all of the dead were students.
Yobe is one of three northeastern states which was placed under emergency rule in May last year when the military launched a massive operation to crush the Boko Haram uprising.
The name Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” and school attacks have featured prominently in the group’s four-and-half Islamist uprising.
At least 40 students were killed in September at an agriculture training college in Yobe after Boko Haram gunmen stormed a series of dorms in the middle of the night and sprayed gunfire on sleeping students.
More than 1000 people have been killed in the northeast since the emergency measures were imposed, despite the enhanced military presence.
Boko Haram, declared a terrorist organisation by Nigeria and the United States, has said it is fighting to create an Islamic state in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north.