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Nigeria's Yobe State Closes Schools After Massacre

July 08, 2013

by VOA News

All schools in Nigeria's Yobe state have been ordered to shut down after gunmen massacred at least 30 people at a boarding school.

The order from Yobe Governor Ibrahim Geidam says schools will be closed until September so authorities can figure out better ways to protect students and teachers.

Unidentified gunmen raided a school in the village of Mamudo before dawn Saturday, killing at least 29 students and a teacher. Survivors said the attackers set buildings on fire and then shot students as they tried to escape.

Authorities believe the attack was carried out by Islamist radical group Boko Haram. The group's name translates to "Western education is a sacrilege," and its fighters are known to have attacked schools in the past.

The U.N. Children's Fund, UNICEF, says a total of 48 students and seven teachers have been killed in northeastern Nigeria since June 16.

Yobe is one of three states where President Goodluck Jonathan has declared a state of emergency and deployed troops to fight the militants.

Human Rights Watch says more than 3,600 people have died since 2009 in Boko Haram-related violence, including alleged extrajudicial killings by Nigerian security forces.

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