Secondary schools in Nigeria’s Yobe state have been ordered to close after suspected Islamist group Boko Haram killed 42 students Saturday July 6, The Independent reported.
According to the report, the rebels used guns and bombs in the attack. Before littering the building with bullets and setting it on fire, group members led students into dormitories where they threw explosive devices. The massacre, which began around 5:30 a.m., is the third recent school attack to take place in Nigeria — the second in Yobe state.
Yobe governor Ibrahim Gaidam and other government officials are scrambling to create and implement firm security measures. Until the next academic term begins in September, schools are to be shut down, The Independent reported. Boko Haram, whose group name translates to “Western education is forbidden,” is believed to have carried out the massacre in retaliation of a Thursday military raid in which 22 Boko Haram members were killed.
The incident was the government’s most successful effort in curbing Islamist threats and attacks since President Goodluck Jonathan’s May 14 state of emergency declaration in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno states, The Independent noted.
“Lack of [Global System for Mobile Communications] service has prevented patriotic citizens who have hitherto been collaborating with security agents from reporting suspicious movements in their neighbourhoods,” Gaidam said in a BBC report.
The Independent reported that the European Union recognized the tragedy as a “horrific murder by terrorists.”
Upon announcing the state of emergency, President Jonathan cut off landlines, mobile and satellite service in regions across Nigeria. In an effort to hinder communication between Boko Haram members, locals and Gaidam believe the government has missed out on receiving important information and tips regarding suspicious activity. According to The Independent, the Yobe state government has requested that phone service be reinstated.
Gaidam has ordered that those injured in the attack receive free medical aid. BBC concluded that more than 600 people have been killed on account of violence initiated by Boko Haram. The group is set on overthrowing the government and establishing an Islamist state in northern Nigeria.