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Boko Haram Islamist Group Kills 40 in Nigerian College Dorm Attack

Monday, 30 Sep 2013 12:18 PM

By Alexandra Ward

At least 40 people died early Sunday when suspected Boko Haram gunmen stormed a college campus in northeast Nigeria and opened fire on the sleeping students.

Members from Nigeria's militant Islamist group descended on the dormitories of the College of Agriculture in the town of Gujba in Yobe state early Sunday morning, the area governor said in a statement to Agence France-Presse.

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Witnesses said dozens of gunmen burst into dorm rooms and started shooting indiscriminately.

"The attackers went berserk," Salamanu Ibrahim, a 23-year-old student, told AFP. He and hundreds of others students later fled to Yobe's capital Damaturu, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) away. "They were fully armed with sophisticated rifles and improvised explosives."

At least 40 students — all male — were killed and four others were reportedly injured, the office of Yobe Governor Ibrahim Gaidam said in a statement.

"They started gathering students into groups outside, then they opened fire and killed one group and then moved onto the next group and killed them. It was so terrible," another surviving student told Reuters.

Nigerian officials said Boko Haram is suspected of carrying out the attack, as it was similar to the militant group's other deadly killing sprees over the course of its four-year insurgency.

Loosely translated, Boko Haram means "Western education is forbidden." The group promotes a version of Islam, which makes it "haram," or forbidden, for Muslims to take part in any political or social activity associated with Western society, according to the BBC.

The group's official name is Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad, which in Arabic means "People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad."

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