KANO, Nigeria- Suspected Boko Haram Islamist’s killed 43 people on Tuesday in an attack on secondary school students as they slept in the latest school massacre to hit Nigeria’s troubled northeast.
Nigeria meanwhile issued an appeal to France and Abuja’s Francophone neighbors, especially Cameroon, to help it in the battle against Islamist’s, two days before a planned visit from French President Francois Hollande.
The raid at 2:00 am (0100 GMT) targeted the Federal Government College in the town of Buni Yadi in Yobe state and bore the hallmarks of a similar attack last September in which 40 died.
The attackers reportedly hurled explosives into student residential buildings, sprayed gunfire into rooms and hacked a number of students to death.
A senior medical source at the Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital in Yobe’s capital Damaturu said the gunmen only targeted male students and that female students were “spared”.
“So far, 43 bodies have been brought (from the college) and are lying at the morgue,” said the source, who requested anonymity as he was not authorized to discuss death tolls.
A statement released by President Goodluck Jonathan’s office described the killing by people it called “deranged terrorists and fanatics”, as “callous and senseless”.
Yobe has been one of the hardest-hit areas in Boko Haram’s four-and-a-half year Islamist uprising, which has killed thousands of people.
The name Boko Haram means “Western Education is forbidden”.
The group has been blamed for waves of school attacks, especially in Yobe, where scores of students have been slaughtered in the last year.
The state’s police chief, Sanusi Rufai, who confirmed the attack and had given an earlier death toll of 29, went to Buni Yadi — roughly 60 kilometers (40 miles) from Damaturu — with Governor Ibrahim Geidam to assess the damage.