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Last week suspected Boko Haram Islamists killed 59 people in an attack on secondary school students as they slept, in the latest school massacre to hit Nigeria’s troubled north-east.

Gunmen from Islamist group Boko Haram shot or burned to death 59 pupils (originally thought to be 29) in a boarding school in northeast Nigeria during the night.

Bala Ajiya, an official at the Specialist Hospital Damaturu, told Reuters by phone the death toll had risen to 59. “Fresh bodies have been brought in. More bodies were discovered in the bush after the students who had escaped with bullet wounds died from their injuries,” he said.

The school’s 24 buildings, including staff quarters, were completely burned to the ground.

Teachers at the school in Buni Yadi said the gunmen gathered the female students together before telling them to go away and get married and to abandon their education. The name Boko Haram means Western education is forbidden.

Islamist militants have attacked dozens of schools in north-east Nigeria.

Nigeria’s armed forces are facing increasing criticism for failing to protect civilians or to respond to raids by the militants.

Sources: BBC, Reuters

Please pray: Our VOM contacts in Nigeria request your urgent prayers for their nation. Please join with our brothers and sisters in Nigeria who keep watch and pray night after night to end this bloodshed.