Witnesses Report Campus Slaughter in Northern Nigeria

Posted October 2nd, 2012 at 3:55 pm (UTC-5)
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Witnesses say at least 25 people have been killed at a college in northeastern Nigeria, in what appears to be a systematic slaughter by unidentified gunmen.

Students at the Federal Polytechnic College in the Adamawa state town of Mubi tell VOA that gunshots were heard beginning at about 10 p.m. Monday and continuing for at least three hours.

Police say the attackers may have known their victims. An Adamawa police spokesman said the assailants entered an off-campus housing area and called out their victims by name. One student told VOA the attackers asked questions about religion and politics and then killed those who gave the wrong answers.

Adamawa state, like much of northern Nigeria, has been repeatedly targeted by the Islamist radical group Boko Haram. But authorities also were investigating whether the killings, a day after student elections, may have been driven by a political feud at the college.

The executive secretary of the Northern States Christian Association of Nigeria, Daniel Babayi, told VOA that family members on campus told him some of the victims were slaughtered with knives, while others died of gunshot wounds. He said he believes the killings were a reprisal for a recent police sweep of the campus that led to 156 arrests of suspected Boko Haram members.

A spokesman for Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency, Yushua Shuaib, said people wounded in the attack have been taken to local hospitals, and that a state of “normalcy” has been restored.

It was not known late Tuesday how many people were hospitalized.