Students’ Massacre: Our School Not Guarded —Provost

•Some of the slain students of Yobe State College of Agriculture

• File photo: students of Yobe State College of Agriculture, killed by Boko Haram last year September

The Provost of Yobe State College of Agriculture where Boko Haram massacred at least 42 students of the college in the early hours of  Sunday, has said that the school is not guarded by security forces.

Molima Idi Mato told The Associated Press after the gruesome massacre of the students that there were no security forces protecting the college.

Two weeks ago, the state commissioner for education had begged schools and colleges to reopen and promised they would be guarded by soldiers and police.

Mato said as many as 50 students may have been killed in the assault that began  at about 1 a.m. Sunday in rural Gujba.

“They attacked our students while they were sleeping in their hostels. They opened fire at them,” he said, adding that most victims were aged between 18 and 22.

Soldiers recovered 42 bodies and transported 18 wounded students to Damaturu Specialist Hospital, 40 kilometers (25) miles north, said a military intelligence official who insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

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Two of the wounded later  died, said Adamu Usman, a survivor from Gujba who was helping at the hospital.

President Goodluck Jonathan condemned the attack in a televised “chat with the media” Sunday night, and questioned the motives of Boko Haram, which wants to impose Islamic law across Nigeria.

He said he wondered whether the victims were Muslim or  Christian.

Suspected Islamic extremists attacked an agricultural college in the dead of night, gunning down dozens of students as they slept in dormitories and torching classrooms, the school’s provost said,  the latest violence in northeastern Nigeria’s ongoing Islamic uprising.

The attack, blamed on the Boko Haram extremist group, came despite a 4 ½-month-old state of emergency covering three states and one-sixth of the country.

It and other recent violence have led many to doubt assurances from the government and the military that they are winning Nigeria’s war on the extremists.

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