Kano - Gunmen used explosives to burn a state-run primary school in the violence-wracked north-eastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Tuesday, the fourth such attack in a week, police said.
In a dawn strike, a gang of gunmen tossed explosives into Gomari primary school in the heart of the city, setting off a fire that gutted the day school, Maiduguri police spokesperson Samuel Tizhe told reporters.
No casualties were reported in the attack which occurred two hours before classes were due to start.
“The gunmen attacked the school around 5.30am (04h30 GMT) with explosives which burnt down the classes,” Tizhe said.
“This is the fourth time a school is being burnt by gunmen in a week.”
On Wednesday evening, some gunmen stormed another primary school in central Maiduguri and set fire to classrooms after seizing the security guard at gunpoint, just a day after another school was torched by armed arsonists.
Another primary school was targeted on Thursday.
Police declined to speculate on either the motive or the perpetrators of the attacks.
However, the Islamist group Boko Haram, whose name translates to “Western education is sin”, said it was behind the three previous attacks, saying it was in response to “raids” by soldiers of an Islamic seminary in the city.
A purported spokesperson of the group, Abul Qaqa, speaking on Sunday after the bombing of a church in Jos, said the school attacks were over the “indiscriminate arrests of students of Qur’anic schools by security agents”.
The sect, blamed for a wave of attacks mainly in northern Nigeria, had over the past two-and-half years targeted mostly the police and other symbols of authority in Africa's most populous nation. It has lately added churches on its list of targets.
Although its specific aims remain largely unclear, violence by the sect has since mid-2009 claimed more than 1 000 lives, including over 300 this year alone, according to a tally by AFP and activists. - Sapa-AFP