MUSLIM extremists have killed at least 29 students at a school dormitory in a pre-dawn attack in Nigeria.
Soldiers guarding a checkpoint near the government school were mysteriously withdrawn hours before the attack yesterday morning, according to a government spokesman, Abdullahi Bego.
The militants locked the door of a dormitory where male students were sleeping and then set it ablaze, slitting the throats of those who tried to clamber out of windows and gunning down those who ran away, said teacher Adamu Garba.
He said some students were burned alive in the attack that began at around 2am.
Female students were spared in the attack, said spokesman Mr Bego. The attackers told the young women to go home and get married and to abandon the Western education they said was anathema to Islam, he said.
They allowed the females to escape, Mr Bego said, relating what survivors and community leaders told Governor Ibrahim Gaidam when he visited the now-deserted and destroyed Federal Government College at Buni Yadi, a secondary school 70km south of the state capital Damaturu.
Mr Bego said the entire complex of the relatively new school had been burned out by firebombs – six dormitories, the administrative building, staff quarters, classrooms, a clinic and the kitchen.
He said Mr Gaidam would be asking questions about why the school apparently was left unprotected.