Attack on School in Northern NigeriaFebruary 26, 2014 in Nigeria
In Nigeria, suspected Boko Haram militants carried out an attack on a school in northern Nigeria.
At least twenty-nine students have been killed in Nigeria after suspected Boko Haram militants attacked a boarding school in the north-eastern region of the country. According to on the ground sources, the remote school, which is located in the state of Yobe, was attacked overnight when students were in their dormitories. All the twenty-nine victims were teenage boys while another eleven were seriously injured. Most of the school was also burned to the ground. Although no further information has been released, Nigeria’s military announced on Tuesday that it was pursuing the attackers. A statement released by the military stated “we assure all law-abiding citizens that we will continue to do what is necessary to protect lives and property.” President Goodluck Jonathan has since condemned the killings, calling them “heinous, brutal and mindless.”
Over the past year, Islamist militants have attacked dozens of schools in north-eastern Nigeria. Last September, forty students were killed at an agricultural college during a similar raid which was also carried out at night. Although the Nigerian government launched military operations in May last year to end Boko Haram’s four year insurgency, Nigeria’s armed forces are currently facing increasing criticism for their failure to protect civilians and to respond to the raids carried out by militants.
Meanwhile a court in Kenya dropped charges on Wednesday against forty-one men and released on bail twenty-nine others who were arrested earlier this month during a raid on a mosque, which has been accused of supporting Islamist extremists.
On 2 February, police raided Mombasa’s Musa mosque, detaining seventy men whom officials accused of attending radicalisation meeting. The raid on the mosque sparked deadly rights in the port city. The seventy men were all initially charged with being members of Somalia’s al-Shabaab along with a number of other charges, which included possession of firearms and inciting violence. However on Wednesday, Magistrate Richard Oden-yo ordered forty-one of those charged to be set free due to a lack of evidence. The remaining 29 suspects were released on bail, which was set at 500,000 Kenyan shillings (5,800 dollars; 4,200 euros each. The releases came just one day after Kenya’s top security chiefs warned of an “increased threat of radicalization” from home-grown Islamists, singling out the Musa mosque as a specific centre encouraging extremism, along with two others.