2 October 2012

Nigeria: Mass Exodus From Mubi After Gunmen Kill Scores of Students

Photo: This Day
It was a black Independence Day celebration for the inhabitants of Mubi town, Adamawa State, as unknown gunmen, suspected to be members of Boko Haram, massacred at least 46 persons, mostly students of three tertiary institutions in the town

The killing of students of Federal Polytechnic Mubi at Yelwan Tsamiya (an off campus accommodation area) in Wuro Patuji area of Mubi North Local Government of Adamawa state, has caused an exodus from the town by both students and staff of the institution.

A lecturer from the school on condition of anonymity told Daily Trust on phone that he learnt that about 40 bodies had been deposited at Mubi General Hospital Mortuary.

Some of the fleeing lecturers of the polytechnic, who are not authorised to speak for the school, told Daily Trust that they saw, at least, 10 truckloads of soldiers and mobile police men moving in to the troubled North-Eastern town.

After the killings, which were said to have been carried out around 10pm by gunmen that stormed the students' village in Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), angry students stormed the school carrying leaves and branches in protest, stopping the second semester exams that was schedule to take place today.

Some of the students were said to have converged at the resident of the rector of the school with their luggage as early as 7am.

As a result of the mass movement of people from the town, the vehicles in the town's motor park have been exhausted, with those not lucky to board the polytechnic's buses ferrying people to Mararaba area, trekking the 15-20 kilometres distance to get vehicles that will move them out of the town.

The BBC had earlier reported that, "at least 20 students have been shot dead by unknown gunmen in Mubi, north-eastern Nigeria," a police source has told the BBC.

"The attack happened at a student hostel away from the Federal Polytechnic Mubi campus," the source said.

A lecturer told the BBC that more than 40 students had been killed but there has been no official comment.

The reported killing comes days after a major operation against the Boko Haram militant group in the town.

The lecturer, who did not want his name to be used, told the BBC's Hausa service that the students were asked to say their names after lining up.

He says it is not clear why some were killed and others spared - some of those killed were Muslims.

"Everybody is scared and staying indoors now," he said.

He added that students were now leaving the town, many with tree branches over their cars- a traditional sign of neutrality in Nigeria.

Mubi is in Adamawa state, which has a mixed Muslim and Christian population and borders Borno state, where Boko Haram came to prominence in 2009, staging an uprising in the state capital, Maiduguri.

Boko Haram has not yet commented on the Mubi attacks.

It is fighting to establish Islamic law in Nigeria and has killed more than 1,000 people in numerous attacks across northern and central areas this year.

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