Thursday, August 22, 2013

School Attack In Nigeria: 29 Boarding School Students Shot & Burned Alive

Points for Consideration Up Front: I am exposing the reader to this horrific story of an international school attack by terrorists because as educators it is important to be globally aware. What is the likelihood of terrorists attacking your school? Not probable, and certainly the threat is extremely low, but possible.  

POTISKUM, Nigeria – On July 6, 2013, Islamic militants (allegedly from the Boko Haram sect) attacked a boarding school (1,200 students) in Northeast Nigeria before dawn Saturday, killing 29 students and one teacher. The gunmen are believed to be from the Boko Haram sect whose name means "Western education is sacrilege."  Scores of schools have been burned down in the past year in Northeast Nigeria.  Some of the pupils were burned alive in the latest school attack blamed on a radical terror group, survivors said. Parents screamed in anguish as they tried to identify the charred and gunshot victims.

By Adamu Adamu and Michelle Faul, The Associated Press

     Farmer Malam Abdullahi found the bodies of two of his sons, a 10-year-old shot in the back as he apparently tried to run away, and a 12-year-old shot in the chest. "That's it, I'm taking my other boys out of school," he told The Associated Press as he wept over the two corpses. He said he had three younger children in a nearby school. "It's not safe," he said. "The gunmen are attacking schools and there is no protection for students despite all the soldiers." Survivors at the Potiskum General Hospital and its mortuary said gunmen attacked Government Secondary School in Mamudo village, 3 miles from Potiskum town at about 3 a.m. Saturday.

     They killed 29 students and an English teacher Mohammed Musa, who was shot in the chest, according to another teacher, Ibrahim Abdu. "We were sleeping when we heard gunshots. When I woke up, someone was pointing a gun at me," said 15-year-old Musa Hassan. He put his arm up in defense, and suffered a gunshot that blew off all four fingers on his right hand, the one he uses to write with. He said the gunmen came armed with jerry cans of fuel that they used to torch the school's administrative block and one of the hostels. "They burned the children alive," he said, the horror showing in his wide eyes.

     He and teachers at the morgue said dozens of children from the 1,200-student school escaped into the bush but have not been seen since. Some bodies are so charred they could not be identified, so many parents do not know if their children survived or died. Islamic militants from Boko Haram and breakaway groups have killed more than 1,600 civilians in suicide bombings and other attacks since 2010, according to an Associated Press count. President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency May 14, and deployed thousands of troops to halt the insurgency, acknowledging that militants had taken control of some towns and villages.

     Military attacks against the Muslim extremists appear to have driven the extremists into the mountains with caves, from which they emerge to attack schools and markets. The militants have increasingly targeted civilians, including health workers on vaccination campaigns, teachers and government workers. 
© 2013 The Associated Press.  

Final Comment: The techniques, tactics, and procedures of Islamic Extremists (VEO: Violent Extremist Organizations) terrorists used abroad can and have been visited upon our shores. 

No comments: