Kano, Nigeria -
Nigerian police on Monday uncovered a plot to bomb a secondary school in the restive north-eastern city of Gombe by defusing a car laden with explosives that had been abandoned there, a spokesman said.
Police bomb experts found 12 improvised explosives concealed in a car that was abandoned on the premises of the state-run Pilot secondary school, following a tip-off, Fwaje Attajiri told AFP.
“Our ordnance experts discovered 12 IEDs (improvised explosive devices) in the trunk of the car left in the vicinity of the school after we were alerted,” he said.
“The explosives had the capacity of causing maximum damage and would have caused huge casualty had they detonated in the school with a high student population,” he said.
Attajiri said an investigation had been launched to establish who was behind the foiled attack, refusing to say if Boko Haram Islamists can be blamed.
Boko Haram, which means “Western education is forbidden” in the local Hausa language, has carried out deadly attacks on schools in the volatile north-east as part of a five-year insurgency aimed at establishing an Islamic state in the north.
Gombe, which has been previously hit by Boko Haram extremists, was forced to close its schools three weeks ahead of vacations in March following fears of possible attacks by the sect.
The Islamists have killed more than 100 students in attacks on three schools in nearby Yobe state in the past year.
Authorities in Borno state, Boko Haram's spiritual home, have shut public secondary schools and sent over 120 000 students home since March after the upsurge in Boko Haram attacks.
In April, the insurgents abducted more than 200 schoolgirls in the town of Chibok in Borno state, drawing global outrage. - Sapa-AFP