Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram opened fire on students at the College of Agriculture in Yobe state, gunning down dozens of students aged 18 to 22 while they slept in a dormitory.
According to the Associated Press, up to 50 students were killed, and the militants also torched classrooms during the assault.
Boko Haram is a jihadist militant terrorist organisation based in the northeast of Nigeria, northern Cameroon and Niger. Since 2001, the group have actively launched attacks in Nigeria. This is a timeline (though not exhaustive) of Boko Haram's death toll in the country:
- December 24, 2003: Christmas Eve attacks in Kannama and Geidam in Yobe State
- September 21, 2004: Attack on Panshekara Police station, Kano
- September 21, 2004: Attack on Bama and Gwarzo Police Stations
- December 31, 2007: Attack on Presidential Hotel Port/Harcourt
- July 26-30, 2009: Launch of mass uprising with attack on a police station in Bauchi that spread to Kano, Yobe and Borno states
- September 7, 2010: Attack on a prison in Bauchi and freeing numerous prisoners including BH members.
- October 6, 2010: Assassination of ANPP leader, Awena Ngala in Maiduguri
- December 24, 2010: Christmas period bombing in Jos killed 38
- October 9, 2010: Assassination of Muslim cleric Bashir Kashara and one of his students in Maiduguri
- December 31, 2011: Mogadishu Assassination of ANPP gubernatorial candidate Modu Fannami Gubio and 8 others in Maiduguri
- June 6, 2011: Assassination of Muslim cleric, Ibrahim Birkutu in Maiduguri
- June 16, 2011: Bombing of Police Force Headquarters in Abuja
- August 26, 2011: UN Building Bombing in Abuja
- September 22, 2011: Attack on Maiduguri jail to free hundreds of prisoners
- December 20, 2011: Dozens killed in Maiduguri shootings
- December 25, 2011: Series of bomb attacks on Christmas day in Niger and Plateau States killed dozens
- January 22, 2012: Multiple bomb explosions and attacks in Kano on Police facilities and security agency offices: death toll 215
- April 9, 2012: Easter Sunday explosion in Kaduna. Death toll 38
In May 2013, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in the states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa which had been most hit by the terrorist attacks. The Nigerian president vowed that:
…whoever they may be, wherever they may go, we will hunt them down, we will fish them out, and we will bring them to justice. No matter what it takes, we will win this war against terror.
Nonetheless, this vicious massacre of innocent children in their sleep threw the Nigerian blogosphere into mourning.
Obi Asika, the chairman of SocialMediaWeek Lagos, lamented:
Why are we killing ourselves still can't fathom this madness and those who profit on it? I'm so depressed to hear about Yobe this am #rip
— Obi Asika (@obiasika) September 29, 2013
Mark Amaza, a public commentator, was livid:
Life in Nigeria is hard as it is. Those in Yobe, Borno, Southern Kaduna & parts of Plateau & Nassarawa seem to be getting a double portion.
— Mark Amaza (@amasonic) September 29, 2013
Journalist Abang Mercy recalled a similar Boko Haram death spree in July 2013:
Same Yobe were gunmen stormed the premises of Government Secondary School in the town of Mamudo killing 29 students and a teacher in July.
— Abang Mercy-Asu (@AbangMercy) September 29, 2013
Nnodim Blossom, an author, blogger and compère, offered a prayer for the dead:
My thoughts are with all the grieving families in Yobe. May the souls of the faithful departed rest in perfect peace. Amen!
— Nnodim Blossom (@blcompere) September 29, 2013
Henry Okelue questioned:
How can a State of Emergency, be in force in 3 States including Yobe and the body count of the innocent hasn't stopped?
— Henry Okelue (@4eyedmonk) September 29, 2013
Opeolu Abiodun asked the question on many minds:
I really feel sorry for innocent lives been killed today by Boko Haram in Yobe state. For how long shall we continue to leave with this.
— Opeolu Abiodun (@Upmajor) September 29, 2013
Borrowing the words of Nigerian writer, Chiagozie Nwonwu wrote:
So the guns of Boko Haram coughed again. Now more mothers will wail for children who won't be coming home….
— Chiagozie Nwonwu (@mazinwonwu) September 29, 2013
A very sad turn of events. It truly breaks my heart.
Maybe it’s time to kill all Boko Haram members and their supporters, wherever they are? Round them up, shoot them. Let their God sort them out later.
This is such gruesome news :(