Soldiers Mysteriously Withdrawn from Check Point Hours Before Yobe School Attack

The governor of Yobe State, Ibrahim Gaidam has disclosed that Soldiers guarding a checkpoint near the Federal government College Buni Yadi, were gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members laid siege in the early hours of Tuesday were mysteriously withdrawn hours before the attack.

The governor who spoke through his spokesman, Abdullahi Bego said survivors and community leaders told Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam when he visited the now-deserted and destroyed secondary school 70 kilometers south of the state capital, Damaturu.

“The community complained to the governor that yesterday the military were withdrawn and then the attack happened,” he said.

Despite the fact that the nearest military base was a unit of about 30 soldiers in Buni Gari town, 2 kilometers away from the school, the community leaders of Buni Yadi said soldiers from Damaturu did not arrive until noon, hours after the attackers had finished their work and taken off.

According Bego, the community leaders said they buried the bodies of 29 victims. Most appeared to be between 15 and 20 years old.

Female students were spared in the attack, Bego said, adding that the attackers went to the female hostel, told the young woemn to go home, get married and abandon western education which according to them is an anathema to Islam.

He said the entire complex of the relatively new school had been burned out by firebombs – six dormitories, the administrative building, staff quarters, classrooms, a clinic and the kitchen.

The militants locked the door of one dormitory where male students were sleeping and then set it ablaze, slitting the throats of those who tried to clamber out of windows and gunning down those who ran away, said teacher Adamu Garba.

Some students were burned alive in the attack that began around 2 a.m., he said.

Tuesday’s attack is the latest in a string of deadly attacks – more than 300 civilians killed this month alone.

Just hours before the attack, President Goodluck Jonathan during a media chat Monday night dismissed charges the military is losing the war against the Boko Haram sect.

He suggested he could withdraw the military from Borno state and see how long Governor Kashim Shettima, could remain in his official residence for daring to say that the Boko Haram are “better motivated and better armed than the Nigerian military.”

Jonathan said the Boko Haram attacks are “quite worrisome” but that he is sure “We will get over it.”

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