Dozens were injured, at least 47 fatally, when a suicide bomber disguised as a student set off an explosion outside a school in northern Nigeria Monday.
The school bombing occurred around 7:50 a.m. outside of the principal’s office. Students had just gathered for a daily speech when the explosion went off. Police suspect that Boko Haram, the terrorist group responsible for kidnapping nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls in April, is responsible for the attack.
“We suspect Boko Haram is behind the attack,” police spokesman Emmanuel Ojukwu said.
“We were waiting for our teachers to come and address us at the assembly ground when we heard a huge explosion,” student Adamu Ibrahim said.
The militant group has not officially confirmed their involvement in the bombing, but authorities say they are the prime suspect based on their previous attacks against schools in recent months.
According to CNN:
The radical Islamic militant group has carried out deadly attacks on schools teaching Western curriculum.
In February, Boko Haram gunmen killed at least 40 students when they opened fire and threw explosives in student hostels in a government boarding school in the town of Buni Yadi, in Yobe state.
And last year, 42 students were killed when Boko Haram gunmen attacked dormitories with guns and explosives in a government boarding school near Potiskum.
Potiskum, the commercial hub of Yobe state, has been repeatedly targeted by deadly attacks blamed on Boko Haram.
The attacks are part of the group’s deadly five-year insurgency campaign to establish an Islamic state. They have long targeted schools to prevent children from attending, especially young girls. The group also believes boys should only receive an Islamic education.
It is not immediately clear how many casualties in Monday’s attack were students. Soldiers who responded to the explosion were met by an angry crowd who accused the government of not doing enough to end Boko Haram’s terror campaign.
An investigation continues.