DAMATURU, Nigeria (AP) — A spokesman for a Nigerian governor says soldiers who were guarding a checkpoint near a government school were mysteriously withdrawn from the checkpoint, just hours before an attack today by suspected Islamic extremists.
The attack left at least 29 students dead at a school dormitory.
Officials say female students at the co-ed school were spared -- and that the attackers instead told them to go home and get married and to abandon their Western education.
The attackers set a locked dormitory on fire. As students escaped through the windows, they were shot and their throats were slit. Some were burned alive.
The governor's spokesman says he will be asking questions about why the school was apparently left unprotected.
Nigeria's military has reported arresting several soldiers accused of aiding and passing information to extremists of the terrorist network Boko Haram (BOH'-koh hah-RAHM'). The nickname means "Western education is forbidden."
More than 300 civilians have been killed this month in Nigeria in a series of deadly attacks.