A suicide bomber disguised in a school uniform detonated explosives at a high school assembly in the northeastern Nigerian city of Potiskum on Monday, killing at least 48 students (11-20-years-old), according to survivors and a morgue attendant. There were over 2,000 students gathered for the weekly assembly at the Government Technical Science College when the explosion poured through the hall. It was only one week ago when another suicide bomber killed 30 in the same city when suspected Boko Haram fighters attacked a religious procession of moderate Muslims.
Scared students were disoriented and covered in blood, bits of flesh and severed body parts. “When my father saw me he was terrified. I didn’t realise my white school uniform was stained with human blood and bits of flesh,” student Adamu Abdullahi told AFP. He continued, “I found myself under the weight of another student, who fell over me. I’m certain he was dead. I was dazed and disorientated for a moment.”
“We were waiting for the principal to address us, around 7:30 a.m., when we heard a deafening sound and I was blown off my feet, people started screaming and running, I saw blood all over my body,” 17-year-old student Musa Ibrahim Yahaya said from the general hospital, where he was being treated for head wounds. 79 other students were admitted into the hospital with series injuries, some of which were amputations. The hospital was so filled up with victims, that many bed housed two people.
A few months ago, Nigeria’s military claimed that there was a bomb factory where explosives were being sewn into backpacks made popular by most Nigerian students. This is exactly what the suicide bomber was wearing. President Goodluck Jonathan has also promised more security for Nigerian schools, especially in the northeast. Yobe state governor Ibrahim Gaidam ordered the immediate closure of all public schools in the Potiskum area and slammed the government in Abuja for failing to tackle the insurgency, “Urgent action must be taken right now to restore a fast-waning public confidence by doing whatever it takes to stop the escalating violence,” he said in a statement.
This suicide bomber has Boko Haram written all over it. The name roughly translates to “education is sinful,” which obviously reveals their motto. Back in April, this terrorist group kidnapped 276 Nigerian schoolgirls with the intention of marrying them off and forbidding them from education. With the bomber blowing up a high school, one can only assume that the education-hating Boko Haram had anything to do with this.
Boko Haram has increased their violent attacks in the last month, especially after the government claimed to have negotiated a cease-fire. However, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau denied all claims of this truce. There’s way too much tragedy going on in Nigeria right now and every headline scares us. Sadly, suicide bombers in Nigeria are plentiful. Our prayers are with the people of Nigeria.
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