POTISKUM, Nigeria — Assailants in northeastern Nigeria killed three North Korean doctors, beheading one of the physicians, in the latest attack on health workers in a nation under assault by a radical Islamic sect, officials said Sunday.
The deaths Saturday night of the doctors in Potiskum, a town in Yobe state long under attack by the sect known as Boko Haram, comes after gunmen on Friday killed at least nine women administering polio vaccines in Kano, the major city of Nigeria's predominantly Muslim north.
The two attacks raise new questions over whether the extremist sect, targeted by Nigeria's police and military, has picked a new soft target in its guerrilla campaign of shootings and bombings across the nation.
The attackers apparently struck at the North Korean doctors inside their home, said Dr. Mohammed Mamman, chairman of the Hospital Managing Board of Yobe State. The North Korean doctors had no security guards at their residence, officials said.
Mamman said the doctors had lived in the state since 2005 as part of a technical exchange program between the state and the North Korean government.
There are more than a dozen other North Korean doctors posted to the state under the program, as well as engineers, Mamman said. He said all will receive protection from security forces.