By BBC | Tuesday, October 2 2012 at 14:45
At least 20 students have been shot dead by unknown gunmen in Mubi, north-eastern Nigeria, according to a police source.
The attack happened at a student hostel away from the Federal Polytechnic Mubi campus, the source said.
A lecturer said that more than 40 students had been killed but there has been no official comment.
The reported killing comes days after a major operation against the Boko Haram militant group in the town.
The lecturer, who did not want his name to be used, told the BBC’s Hausa service that the students were asked to say their names after lining up.
He says it is not clear why some were killed and others spared – some of those killed were Muslims.
“Everybody is scared and staying indoors now,” he said.
He added that students were now leaving the town, many with tree branches over their cars- a traditional sign of neutrality in Nigeria.
Mubi is in Adamawa state, which has a mixed Muslim and Christian population and borders Borno state, where Boko Haram came to prominence in 2009, staging an uprising in the state capital, Maiduguri.
Boko Haram has not yet commented on the Mubi attacks.
It is fighting to establish Islamic law in Nigeria and has killed more than 1,000 people in numerous attacks across northern and central areas this year.