SANTA ANA, Calif. (July 8, 2013) – Suspected an extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria members on Saturday attacked a school in Mamudo, Yobe, one of the three states where the Nigerian government imposed a state of emergency in May.
Survivors told media that the attackers arrived with containers full of fuel and set fire to the school. It is believed that some of the victims were burned alive, while others were shot as they tried to flee. According to the Associated Press, 29 students and one teacher were killed.
Samaila, a teacher at the school, told Open Doors that he could see scores of parents in shock trying to identify children. An Associated Press journalist also described chaotic scenes at a nearby Potiskum hospital as parents tried to identify their children from among the deceased.
About 30 Christians along with others attend the school. However, Open Doors could not confirm immediately how many Christians have been affected by the attack. Schools across Yobe have been closed.
There were two similar attacks on schools in June. On June 16 at a school in Damaturu, Yobe, suspected an extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria attackers opened fire on students. A pastor told Open Doors that the attackers arrived at the school asking for the Christian students by name. However, security agents interfered in the attack and the insurgents ended up firing random shots, killing 13 students and teachers. Open Doors has not been able to confirm how many Christians were among the victims.
On June 18 suspected an extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria members also opened fire on students at a Muslim school in Maiduguri. Nine students and one medical worker were killed.
“The carnage in Nigeria continues,” says Open Doors USA spokesman Jerry Dykstra. “The senseless slaughter of helpless school students is hard to fathom. Pray for the Lord’s comfort and grace to all families affected by the latest attack. Pray that the Lord will enable the Church to respond in love in the midst of these circumstances and reach out to all affected.”
Nigeria is ranked No. 13 on the Open Doors 2013 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians.
For almost 60 years Open Doors has worked in the world’s most oppressive and restrictive countries, strengthening Christians to stand strong in the face of persecution and equipping them to shine Christ’s light in these places. Open Doors empowers persecuted Christians by supplying Bibles and Christian literature, training Christian leaders, facilitating social/economic projects and uniting believers in the West in prayer for Christians, who are the most persecuted religious group in the world and are oppressed in at least 60 countries. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to our website at www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.
(For more information or to set up an interview, contact Open Doors USA Media Relations Director Jerry Dykstra at 616-915-4117 or email [email protected].)