Suicide Bomber Kills At Least 50 At Nigerian School
A suicide bomber has killed at least 50 at a Nigerian school:
A suicide bomber dressed as a student infiltrated the morning assembly at a high school in northern Nigeria on Monday and detonated explosives in a backpack, killing almost 50 students and teachers, according to news reports.
Although there was no immediate claim of responsibility, suspicion quickly focused on the Boko Haram militant group, which has carried out similar attacks in that part of Nigeria. The group’s name translates roughly as “Western education is sinful.”
The bombing was one of the bloodiest attacks in months.
Government forces rushed to the school, in the town of Potiskum in Yobe State, but angry residents throwing stones prevented them from reaching the site of the blast. A bomb killed almost 30 people in the same town last week.
Many Nigerians are incensed at the military’s seeming inability to curb Boko Haram, which earlier this year kidnapped more than 200 girls from the town of Chibok in nearby Borno State.
In Potiskum, Reuters reported, residents accused government soldiers of opening fire on them after last week’s attack.
Witnesses said the blast on Monday left an assembly area at the Government Science Secondary School spattered with body parts.
The Associated Press quoted an unidentified morgue attendant as saying the dead appeared to to be 11 to 20 years old.
An additional 79 students were reported injured and rushed to a nearby hospital, which became so overcrowded that the wounded were packed two to a bed. Reuters quoted a nurse at the hospital as saying the dead included “a few” teachers along with their students.
Boko Haram has stepped up its onslaught since Nigerian authorities announced a cease-fire last month and forecast the liberation of the more than 200 schoolgirls abducted in April.
It was just a couple weeks ago that Nigerian government officials were claiming that they had reached some kind of accord with Boko Haram that would lead to the imminent released of the kidnapped schoolgirls. Not only has that not happened, but it would appear that the group has stepped up its terror campaign. How that plays among the Nigerian public and their attitude toward a government that has already been the subject of protest for perceived weaknesses in facing this threat remains to be seen.