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Islamist Group Kills Dozens at Nigerian School

  •  Ibrahim Gaidam, Governor of Yobe state, left,  look at  bodies of students  inside an ambulance outside a mosque in Damaturu,  Nigeria,  Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Islamic militants killed 29 students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on a northeast Nigerian school some 45 miles from the city, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. (AP Photo)

    Ibrahim Gaidam, Governor of Yobe state, left, look at bodies of students inside an ambulance outside a mosque in Damaturu, Nigeria, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Islamic militants killed 29 students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on a northeast Nigerian school some 45 miles from the city, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. (AP Photo)

  •  Ibrahim Gaidam, Governor of Yobe state, left,  look at  bodies of students  inside an ambulance outside a mosque in Damaturu,  Nigeria,  Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Islamic militants killed 29 students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on a northeast Nigerian school some 45 miles from the city, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. (AP Photo)

    Ibrahim Gaidam, Governor of Yobe state, left, look at bodies of students inside an ambulance outside a mosque in Damaturu, Nigeria, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Islamic militants killed 29 students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on a northeast Nigerian school some 45 miles from the city, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. (AP Photo)

  • Ibrahim Gaidam, Governor of Yobe state, left,  looks at  bodies of students  inside an ambulance outside a mosque in Damaturu,  Nigeria,  Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Islamic militants killed dozens of students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on a northeast Nigerian school some 45 miles from the city, survivors said.  (AP Photo)

    Ibrahim Gaidam, Governor of Yobe state, left, looks at bodies of students inside an ambulance outside a mosque in Damaturu, Nigeria, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Islamic militants killed dozens of students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on a northeast Nigerian school some 45 miles from the city, survivors said. (AP Photo)

  • Ibrahim Gaidam, Governor of Yobe state, left,  looks at  bodies of students  inside an ambulance outside a mosque in Damaturu,  Nigeria,  Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Islamic militants killed dozens of students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on a northeast Nigerian school some 45 miles from the city, survivors said.  (AP Photo)

    Ibrahim Gaidam, Governor of Yobe state, left, looks at bodies of students inside an ambulance outside a mosque in Damaturu, Nigeria, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Islamic militants killed dozens of students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on a northeast Nigerian school some 45 miles from the city, survivors said. (AP Photo)

  • The remains of the  burned out  Federal Government College  in Buni Yadi, Nigeria,  Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Islamic militants killed at least 29 students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on the northeast Nigerian school, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. (AP Photo)

    The remains of the burned out Federal Government College in Buni Yadi, Nigeria, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Islamic militants killed at least 29 students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on the northeast Nigerian school, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. (AP Photo)

  • The remains of the  burned out  Federal Government College  in Buni Yadi, Nigeria,  Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Islamic militants killed at least 29 students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on the northeast Nigerian school, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. (AP Photo)

    The remains of the burned out Federal Government College in Buni Yadi, Nigeria, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Islamic militants killed at least 29 students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on the northeast Nigerian school, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. (AP Photo)

  • This Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, photo, shows the remains of the burned out Federal Government College  in Buni Yadi, Nigeria.  Islamic militants killed dozens  of students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on the northeast Nigerian school, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. (AP Photo)

    This Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, photo, shows the remains of the burned out Federal Government College in Buni Yadi, Nigeria. Islamic militants killed dozens of students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on the northeast Nigerian school, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. (AP Photo)

  • This Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, photo, shows the remains of the burned out Federal Government College  in Buni Yadi, Nigeria.  Islamic militants killed dozens  of students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on the northeast Nigerian school, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. (AP Photo)

    This Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, photo, shows the remains of the burned out Federal Government College in Buni Yadi, Nigeria. Islamic militants killed dozens of students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on the northeast Nigerian school, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. (AP Photo)

  • The remains of the  burned out  Federal Government College  in Buni Yadi, Nigeria,  Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Islamic militants killed at least 29 students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on the northeast Nigerian school, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. (AP Photo)

    The remains of the burned out Federal Government College in Buni Yadi, Nigeria, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Islamic militants killed at least 29 students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on the northeast Nigerian school, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. (AP Photo)

  • This Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, photo, shows the remains of the burned out Federal Government College  in Buni Yadi, Nigeria.  Islamic militants killed dozens  of students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on the northeast Nigerian school, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. (AP Photo)

    This Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, photo, shows the remains of the burned out Federal Government College in Buni Yadi, Nigeria. Islamic militants killed dozens of students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on the northeast Nigerian school, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. (AP Photo)

  •  Ibrahim Gaidam, Governor of Yobe state, left,  look at  bodies of students  inside an ambulance outside a mosque in Damaturu,  Nigeria,  Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Islamic militants killed 29 students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on a northeast Nigerian school some 45 miles from the city, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. (AP Photo)
  •  Ibrahim Gaidam, Governor of Yobe state, left,  look at  bodies of students  inside an ambulance outside a mosque in Damaturu,  Nigeria,  Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Islamic militants killed 29 students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on a northeast Nigerian school some 45 miles from the city, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. (AP Photo)
  • Ibrahim Gaidam, Governor of Yobe state, left,  looks at  bodies of students  inside an ambulance outside a mosque in Damaturu,  Nigeria,  Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Islamic militants killed dozens of students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on a northeast Nigerian school some 45 miles from the city, survivors said.  (AP Photo)
  • Ibrahim Gaidam, Governor of Yobe state, left,  looks at  bodies of students  inside an ambulance outside a mosque in Damaturu,  Nigeria,  Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Islamic militants killed dozens of students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on a northeast Nigerian school some 45 miles from the city, survivors said.  (AP Photo)
  • The remains of the  burned out  Federal Government College  in Buni Yadi, Nigeria,  Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Islamic militants killed at least 29 students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on the northeast Nigerian school, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. (AP Photo)
  • The remains of the  burned out  Federal Government College  in Buni Yadi, Nigeria,  Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Islamic militants killed at least 29 students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on the northeast Nigerian school, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. (AP Photo)
  • This Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, photo, shows the remains of the burned out Federal Government College  in Buni Yadi, Nigeria.  Islamic militants killed dozens  of students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on the northeast Nigerian school, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. (AP Photo)
  • This Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, photo, shows the remains of the burned out Federal Government College  in Buni Yadi, Nigeria.  Islamic militants killed dozens  of students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on the northeast Nigerian school, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. (AP Photo)
  • The remains of the  burned out  Federal Government College  in Buni Yadi, Nigeria,  Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Islamic militants killed at least 29 students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on the northeast Nigerian school, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. (AP Photo)
  • This Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, photo, shows the remains of the burned out Federal Government College  in Buni Yadi, Nigeria.  Islamic militants killed dozens  of students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on the northeast Nigerian school, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. (AP Photo)

Damaturu, Nigeria — Islamic militants set fire to a locked dormitory at a school in northern Nigeria, then shot and slit the throats of students who tried to escape through windows during a pre-dawn attack Tuesday. At least 58 students were killed, including many who were burned alive.

They “slaughtered them like sheep” with machetes, and gunned down those who ran away, said one teacher, Adamu Garba.

Female students were spared in the attack, said the spokesman, Abdullahi Bego, though girls and women have been abducted in the past by militants of the Boko Haram movement, whose name means “Western education is forbidden.”

This time, the insurgents went to the female dormitories and told the young women to go home, get married and abandon the Western education they said is anathema to Islam, Bego said. All of the dead were teenage boys or young men.

The militants, whose struggle for an Islamic state has killed thousands and made them the biggest threat to security in Africa’s top oil producer, have increasingly preyed on civilians, both Muslim and Christian. Some 300 people have died in attacks this month alone.

Local officials buried the bodies of 29 victims and another 29 were taken to Damaturu Specialist Hospital, according to the hospital records and an Associated Press reporter who went to the mortuary. Most of the victims appeared to be between 15 and 20 years old, Bego said.

Touring the smoldering ruins Tuesday at the Federal Government College of Buni Yadi, Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam decried the federal government’s failure to protect the population.

“It is unfortunate that our children in schools are dying from lack of adequate protection from the federal government,” Gaidam told reporters.

He called on President Goodluck Jonathan to deploy more troops to the region.

Jonathan, who rarely comments on individual attacks, said in a statement that he felt “immense sadness and anguish” by the loss of life at the school, and vowed that the military would “continue to prosecute the war against terror with full vigor, diligence and determination.”

Garba said the militants locked the door of a dormitory where male students were sleeping, then set it on fire. Some students were burned alive in the attack that began around 2 a.m., he said.

The governor said it took hours for troops to arrive, giving the assailants plenty of time to set the rest of the school campus ablaze. — six dor