Gunmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram reportedly stormed a college of Agriculture in Yobe state killing at least 26 students early Sunday morning.
According to the Associated Press news agency, the provost of the college, Molima Idi Mato, said that as many as 50 students may have been killed in the attack that took place at dawn as the victims were still sleeping. He also said he could not give an exact number as security forces were still recovering bodies.
Mr. Mato lamented the absence of government protection, which had earlier been promised for schools in that region.
The students who were lucky to survive the attack – numbering about a thousand – have already fled.
Most schools in the area closed after militants killed 29 pupils and a teacher in July, burning some alive in their hostels, at nearby Damaturu.
More than 160 people were killed in violence linked to Boko Haram last month, including 24 vigilantes ambushed and killed near the remote town of Monguono. A new army division was sent to Borno state last month.
A military offensive ordered by President Goodluck Jonathan in May had appeared to have weakened the terrorist group, which has had nothing short of a free run in the North Eastern part of Nigeria, usually leaving scores dead and many more injured.
The group – whose name means “Western education is forbidden” – has several factions and an ill-defined leadership structure, stymying efforts to strike a peace deal.