Saturday 21 April 2018

Extremists attack school in Nigeria

Crowds gather at the site of the attack in Potiskum, Nigeria. (AP)
Crowds gather at the site of the attack in Potiskum, Nigeria. (AP)
A three-month multinational offensive has driven Boko Haram out of many Nigerian towns and villages

Suspected Boko Haram extremists have attacked a business school in north-east Nigeria with gunfire and two bomb blasts.

A suicide bomber died when he blew himself up prematurely in the car park of the College of Administrative and Business Studies in Potiskum, according to a security officer and a hospital worker.

A second bomb exploded in the college dormitory, but all students were apparently already in classrooms.

Five students were wounded by gunfire and another 45 people are being treated for injuries sustained as they jumped out of windows and over walls to escape the attackers, the hospital worker said.

Those injured include schoolchildren from the neighbouring Government Science Secondary School, who also thought they were under attack. At least 40 students were killed when Boko Haram attacked that school last year.

In today's attack, the gunmen opened fire at the gate of the business school, witnesses said, and security guards armed only with clubs ran away.

It is the first school attack reported since a three-month-old multinational offensive drove Boko Haram out of towns and villages seized last year where the insurgents, who have sworn allegiance to the Islamic State group, declared an Islamic caliphate.

Troops from neighbouring countries joined the fight as Nigeria's home-grown Islamic extremist group began attacking across borders.

The military says the main fighting force of Boko Haram has fled to strongholds in the vast Sambisa Forest of north-east Nigeria, where government troops this month rescued nearly 700 girls and women held in captivity by the insurgents and destroyed about 20 camps.

Press Association

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