"Teachers who teach western education? We will kill them! We will kill them in front of their students, and tell the students to henceforth study the Qur'an."
Abubakar Shekau, Muslim Terrorist
The leader of Nigeria's Islamist militant group Boko Haram has called for more attacks against schools, describing western education as a "plot against Islam", in a video released days after his fighters killed 46 students in an assault on a dorm.
In the 15-minute recording released at the weekend, Abubakar Shekau said schools would continue to be targeted "until our last breath".
"Teachers who teach western education? We will kill them! We will kill them in front of their students, and tell the students to henceforth study the Qur'an," he said, gesticulating energetically while dressed in military fatigues and a traditional hat reports the UK Guardian.
BBC News - 'Dozens dead' In School Attack In Nigeria's Yobe State
Boko Haram claims Nigerian church bombings
Unschooled and unemployed children are increasingly being recruited – sometimes forcibly – to fill the ranks of Boko Haram and unleash violence against their peers, the Guardian has learned.
Witnesses say many are plied with dates stuffed with tramadol – a narcotic used to tranquilise horses – before being sent on missions.
Just after dawn on 6 July, a school dormitory was doused in petrol and set alight in north-eastern Yobe. Those trying to flee the flames were shot. The attack left 46 dead, mostly students. More than 300 classrooms have been torched in the remote, arid state since 2009, according to official counts.
Hundreds of families have fled the region. "This really shook us up. Students being attacked in their sleep is too disgusting for us to even imagine," said Adam Mohammed, a textiles trader visiting neighbouring northern Kano state, where he relocated his family for safety reasons. "It was hard, but I feel I made the right decision to leave Yobe. I'm a father of three and when I think of what those parents must be going through …" He shook his head mutely.
Last month 16 students were gunned down in consecutive strikes on a secondary comprehensive in Yobe and another school in Borno, Boko Haram's spiritual home. In April two attacks on a university left 16 dead.
A state of emergency has been in place for two months in three north-eastern states. Soldiers pouring into Yobe and Borno have dismantled urban cells, but Boko Haram has responded by changing tactics. Previously it had attempted to ignite a sectarian war by bombing packed churches.
Closing down mobile phone services is thought to have reduced the insurgents' ability to co-ordinate attacks, but it has also had unintended deadly consequences. "I saw the gunmen sneaking into the school compound in hordes but I couldn't call any soldiers for help," said Ahmadu Sani, whose farm borders the school grounds where 46 were killed. "The police cannot be everywhere so they should restore the connections even if there's a state of emergency."