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Terrorism

Multiple fatalities as gunmen attack Nigerian school

Suspected Islamist militants have killed at least 30 people in an attack on a school in northeastern Nigeria. The attacker set fire to buildings, shooting pupils as they tried to escape.

Gunmen attacked the boarding school in northeastern Nigeria just before dawn on Saturday, killing at least 27 students and one teacher.

The attack took place at about 3 a.m. at the Government Secondary School in Mamudo village, close to Potiskum town in Yobe state, some 480 kilometers (300 miles) northeast of the capital, Abuja.

Some of the students were burnt alive in a blaze started by the attackers, who shot at other children who tried to escape from the scene.

The attack was among the deadliest since the Nigerian military launched an offensive against the Islamic insurgent group Boko Haram in May.

Sleeping children woken

Witnesses reported that the students had been sleeping when the gunfire began, the attackers pouring fuel around an administrative and accommodation block and setting light to it.

Dozens of children from the 1,200-student school were reported to have escaped into the bush, their whereabouts being not immediately clear.

Islamists from Boko Haram have been blamed for the deaths of about 1,600 people since 2010, according to a count by the news agency AP.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency May 14, deploying thousands of troops in an attempt to quash the insurgency.

rc/mkg (AP, Reuters, dpa)