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
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1818 GMT (0218 HKT)
While aspects of the fighting in Gaza resemble earlier clashes, this time feels different, writes military analyst Rick Francona.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 0354 GMT (1154 HKT)
If India and the U.S. were Facebook friends, the relationship between them would undoubtedly be "complicated." Can the U.S. Secretary of State's visit change that?
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1438 GMT (2238 HKT)
The death of an American from Ebola fuels fears of the further global spread of the virus.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1835 GMT (0235 HKT)
Take a look inside Airbus' new -- and surprisingly quiet -- A350XWB.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1108 GMT (1908 HKT)
Flowers, a teddy bear and the smells of jet fuel and death haunt the MH17 crash site.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Nearly two weeks after MH17 was blown out of the sky, Dutch investigators have yet to lay eyes on the wreckage. How useful will it be now?
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1510 GMT (2310 HKT)
The U.S. and EU are imposing new sanctions on Moscow -- but will they have any effect?
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
July 26, 2014 -- Updated 0048 GMT (0848 HKT)
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1303 GMT (2103 HKT)
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT