UK

Nigeria College Death Toll Could Hit 50, After Students Killed By Suspected Boko Haram Terrorists

30/09/2013 11:02 BST

The chilling death toll of an attack by Islamist extremists on a agricultural college could be as high as 50 students, as college officials still recover bodies from the dorm rooms where the youngsters were massacred.

Gunmen, thought to be members of Boko Haram, fired on students at the agricultural college in Gujba, Nigeria as they slept in their college dorm.

AFP reported that 40 bodies have now been recovered, but more could still be inside the College of Agriculture.

College provost Molima Idi Mato said he believed that up to 50 had been killed and about 1,000 students had fled the scene, Sky News reported.

Mostt victims were aged between 18 and 22, the provost said.

One of the survivors told AP he believed almost all those killed were Muslims, as is the majority of the college’s student body.

The news agency described how bodies were laid out in a field next to the morgue, for weeping relatives to identify, some bodies still with their fists clenched or arms raised in surrender, as they tried to shield their bodies.

Just two weeks ago, the state's education commissioner Mohammmed Lamin urged all schools which had closed because of terror threats to reopen and said soldiers and police would protect students.

Boko Haram, whose name means "Western Education Is Forbidden", has been blamed for a number of attacks in Northeast Nigeria, killing 1,700 people since 2010.

In July, terrorists killed 29 pupils and a teacher, burning some alive in their dormitories, in Mamudo.