Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Nigeria: School closures in northeastern Nigeria after killings

Photo: Aminu Abubakar/IRIN. A Maiduguri school burned by Boko Haram

Source: IRIN

KANO, 8 July 2013 (IRIN) - The Yobe State authorities in northeastern Nigeria have closed all schools following the 6 July Boko Haram (BH) attack on a secondary school in Mamudo which killed 41 students and a teacher.

"The closure is to allow the state government in collaboration with the Joint Security Task Force and community leaders to evaluate and evolve better and additional strategies that would ensure the safety and security of students and their teachers," said a 7 July statement from the governor's spokesman, Abdullahi Bego.

Schools in Yobe State were due to close for holidays in August.

The 6 July raid was thought to be a reprisal attack following a 4 July military raid on a BH camp, according to security sources, medics and local residents.

Mamudo is 5km from Potiskum, the commercial capital of Yobe State, some 100km from the state capital Damaturu.

"Many students escaped into surrounding bushes with gunshot wounds. Soldiers who combed the area found six students with gunshot wounds and brought them to the hospital where they are receiving treatment," said Halliru Aliyu, a medic at the Potiskum general hospital where the bodies were taken.

The incident was the third deadly attack on schools by BH Islamists since the start of a sweeping military offensive against the group in May.

On 16 May BH gunmen fired on a student dormitory in Damaturu, killing seven students and two teachers.

On 17 May BH opened fire on an examination hall at Ansaruddeen Private School in the Jajeri area of Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, killing 15 students.

Yobe State officials say BH has burnt down 205 schools in the state in the past year.