59 Children Killed in Attack on Nigerian Boarding School

Boko Haram militants set fire to a school just as President Goodluck Jonathan promised to step up efforts to combat extremists

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Nigerian militants descended on a boarding school and set fire to it Monday night, reportedly killing 59 children in the attack.

Police and military officials said the attack was waged by Boko Haram, an Islamist group fighting to overthrow the government, Reuters reports. “Some of the students bodies were burned to ashes,” Police Commissioner Sanusi Rufai said. The death toll was initially pegged at 29 dead but was later increased to 59, Reuters reports. All the victims were male. A medical source told AFP that female students were “spared”.

The attack took place just after President Goodluck Jonathan claimed on Monday that the efforts of Nigeria’s armed forces to prevent violent extremism “will improve” after over 200 civilians died last week as part Boko Haram’s four-year campaign of violence.