Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan ordered the closing of all schools and an increased presence of troops in the northeastern state of Yobe after a deadly attack by muslim terrorists killed 42 at a boarding school in the Mamudo district over the weekend.
During the assault, Boko Haram Islamists marched students and staff into a dormitory, throwing explosive devices into the room with them. They then opened fire on the building and set it alight.Survivors of the attack say their assailants surrounded the building after setting it ablaze and opened fire on anybody attempting to flee the burning structure. Among the dead are 29 pupils- authorities ordered the closing of schools until September in the wake of this weekend's attacks.
It is believed many of the victims had been sleeping as the Islamists approached the school, with the killing itself starting around 5.30am.
As part of a declaration of a state of emergency, Jonathan also ordered all mobile and satellite phone service cut throughout the region to disrupt Boko Haram communications. However, land lines are extremely rare in the region, and the move was criticized by local officials who say the move also prevents residents from reporting any suspicious activity to authorities.
Some area residents have speculated that the attack on the boarding school could be retaliation after a government raid killed 20 members of Boko Haram after a raid near the village of Dogon Kuka last week. In the last two years, Boko Haram has stepped up attacks against schools, banks, police stations, churches and newspapers not only in the muslim-majority north, but also in the suburbs of the capitol in the predominantly Christian south.
Boko Haram- which roughly translates to 'Western education is forbidden'- started about a decade ago and has been attempting to impose islamic shari'a law in the northern part of the country, but has only recently been able to step up the lethality of their attacks. This has led many to believe Boko Haram fighters were being trained by foreign groups such as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and armed with weapons from Mommar Ghdaffi's collapsed regime in Libya.