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UNICEF condemns killing of students in northeastern Nigeria

2014-02-26

DAKAR, Senegal, 26 February 2014 - UNICEF expressed its outrage at the brutal killing yesterday of some 45 children, between 13 and 17 years old, by unidentified gunmen at the Federal Government College of Buni Yadi, Yobe State, Nigeria.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this vicious attack on students,” said UNICEF's Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Manuel Fontaine. “Many young lives were lost. Many more students and teachers are deprived of their right to education. Attacks on children and schools are unacceptable under any circumstances.”

UNICEF is deeply concerned about the repeated attacks on schools in northeastern Nigeria in this context of fear and violence. Since June 2013, four attacks resulted in school closures affecting thousands of students, many of whom have had no access to formal learning for months.

“When a school is under attack and students become targets, not only their lives are shattered --the future of the nation is stolen,” added Fontaine.

UNICEF offers it deepest condolences to all the families and communities affected by these senseless acts and calls for greater efforts to protect all children throughout Nigeria.

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UNICEF

UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.