Ban on cellphones contributed to deaths in attack on Nigerian school

July 8, 2013 at 2:31 PM
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ABUJA, Nigeria, July 8 (UPI) -- The military's ban on cellphones in northern Nigeria contributed to the high number of students killed in an attack on a school, a public affairs analyst says.

Mahmoud Othman said the military's disconnection of mobile services in Yobe and two other states had prevented students at a Mamudo secondary school from calling police, Channels Television reported Monday.

Forty-two students and a teacher were killed Saturday when suspected members of the Boko Haram sect opened fire at the government secondary school. Some students were burned alive.

Othman described the situation in northern Nigeria as a state of anarchy, charging security forces were lax in their duties by leaving schools unprotected after other schools had been attacked.

He advised that all schools in neighboring Borno state be shut down after Yobe Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam ordered the closure of all secondary schools in that state.

Gaidam called the attack on the Mamudo school inhumane and urged security forces to change the way they check the activities of the terrorist group, the Nigerian newspaper The Guardian reported.

The Borno state chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, Mala Othman, has been arrested for possible links to terror groups, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, a spokesman for the military's Joint Task Force, said Sunday.

A local vigilante group burned Mala Othman's home in Maiduguri last week.

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