POTISKUM, Nigeria — Suspected Islamic extremists attacked an agricultural college in the dead of night, gunning down dozens of students as they slept in dormitories, the school's provost said Sunday.
The attack in northeastern Nigeria was blamed on the extremist Islamic group Boko Haram. Provost Molima Idi Mato of Yobe State College of Agriculture told the Associated Press that as many as 50 students may have been killed in the assault that began about 1 a.m. Sunday in rural Gujba. "They attacked our students while they were sleeping in their hostels. They opened fire at them," he said, adding that most victims were between ages 18 and 22.
Soldiers recovered 42 bodies and transported 18 wounded students to Damaturu Specialist Hospital, 25 miles north, said a military intelligence official who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has said in video addresses that his group wants to end democracy in Nigeria and allow education only in Islamic schools. Boko Haram means "Western education is forbidden."
Boko Haram militants have killed 1,700 people since 2010.