Colombia on Tuesday condemned a suicide bombing of a secondary school in Nigeria that killed at least 47 people the day before.
The attack killed 47 people and injured 79, mostly students. A man dressed in a student uniform set off the bomb during a mandatory school assembly in the morning before classes on Monday.
Colombia’s foreign ministry released a statement “emphatically condemning the terrorist attack.”
The statement further stated that the administration “express[es] our sincere condolences to the families of the victims of this regrettable act and declare out solidarity with the people and government of Nigeria. We hope for the quick recovery of the people who were injured and affected.”
The Foreign Ministry called on the international community to “persevere in finding solutions with Nigerian authorities to combat the terrorism that especially affects young people.”
Local authorities believe the bombing was carried out by the militant group Boko Haram, though no one has claimed responsibility yet. The group has regularly targeted schools during its insurgency against the Nigerian government.
A reporter for Al Jazeera, reporting from Nigeria, noted that “Boko Haram particularly targets schools because they are soft targets. And they represent everything the group is against – Western education, lifestyle and civilization.” Boko Haram roughly translates to “Western education is sinful.”
Ibrahim Gaidam, the governor of Yobe state where the attack occurred has ordered the closure of all other schools in the area.
Boko Haram, founded in 2002, is an insurgent movement based in northeast Nigeria. Since 2009 they have been engaged in open hostilities with the government since 2009. Their stated goal is to establish an Islamic state in northern Nigeria.