Skip to main content

Attackers kill 3 North Korean physicians in Nigeria, official says

By Vladimir Duthiers, CNN
February 15, 2013 -- Updated 1428 GMT (2228 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The doctors were assisting a local hospital, police chief says
  • Ten suspects have been arrested, but police don't know who's behind the slayings
  • On Friday, nine health workers giving polio vaccinations were killed in Nigeria's largest city

Lagos, Nigeria (CNN) -- Three North Korean doctors serving at a hospital in Nigeria's northern Yobe state were killed early Sunday morning, police said.

There were mixed reports initially on where the victims were from, but the police chief of Yobe told CNN they were North Korean physicians assisting at Potiskum General Hospital as part of a government agreement.

The government in Pyongyang has not confirmed that the victims were North Korean nationals.

Authorities say 10 suspects are under arrest.

Nigerian president: Boko Haram 'threat'
Nigerian doctor helps pregnant women

"At this point we cannot say if they are Boko Haram, hired killers or common criminals, but we have cordoned off the area and are in the process of interrogating them," Commissioner Sanusi Rufa'i said. Boko Haram is an Islamist militant group that has carried out scores of attacks across the north over the years.

READ: Nigeria captures top Boko Haram figure

The group, whose name means "Western education is forbidden," has referred to itself as the Nigerian Taliban. It seeks to overthrow the government and replace it with a regime based on Islamic law.

Sunday's predawn slayings came on the heels of another deadly attack against medical workers. On Friday, nine health workers who were administering polio vaccinations were killed in Kano, the biggest city in northern Nigeria.

The victims, eight women and one man, were working for a government program established to vaccinate people across Nigeria.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1439 GMT (2239 HKT)
Tethered to an IV drip, 71-year-old Shin Young Ja lies under a thin fleece blanket, nursing a broken back and wracked with survivor's guilt.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
Family members of the missing passengers are pinning slim hopes on floundering air pockets.
April 17, 2014 -- Updated 1614 GMT (0014 HKT)
An Iranian mother slaps and then forgives her 17-year old son's murderer in dramatic scenes at the gallows.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
April 14, 2014 -- Updated 1230 GMT (2030 HKT)
Explore each side's case, reconstructed from Pistorius' court affidavit and the prosecution's case during last year's bail hearing.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
Mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests or political reform are still censored in China.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 0934 GMT (1734 HKT)
The Hadza are one of the last communities of hunter-gatherers in the world -- but losing their land.
April 19, 2014 -- Updated 0122 GMT (0922 HKT)
In choosing to change a traditional practice, Francis is being as radical as Jesus was in his own time.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Too weak. Can't handle pressure. Unattractive to sponsors. Susie Wolff has heard it all.
April 20, 2014 -- Updated 0249 GMT (1049 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1230 GMT (2030 HKT)
It's like finding a needle in a universe-wide haystack. Researchers have located a planet roughly the size of Earth that could be habitable.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 0940 GMT (1740 HKT)
Dubai, long champion of all things biggest, longest and most expensive, will soon have some competition from a neighboring country.
ADVERTISEMENT