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
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
A captured fighter tells CNN's Ivan Watson: "They gave us drugs... that made you go to battle."
October 29, 2014 -- Updated 1331 GMT (2131 HKT)
A terminally ill woman who plans to take her own life checks off the last item.
October 30, 2014 -- Updated 2340 GMT (0740 HKT)
In a plot straight out of Hollywood, federal agents gain access to a suspected Triad boss' Vegas hotel room by pretending to fix the Internet connection.
October 31, 2014 -- Updated 0434 GMT (1234 HKT)
Was it only black and Latino men who harassed a woman in NYC? The filmmaker has found himself in a race controversy.
October 31, 2014 -- Updated 1415 GMT (2215 HKT)
The history of human rights often overlooks the struggles of gay people. This must change.
October 30, 2014 -- Updated 0115 GMT (0915 HKT)
Armed with Kalashnikovs and chanting for the dead comrades, women are among ISIS' most feared enemies. They are fighting for their families -- and now they are getting U.S. help.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1246 GMT (2046 HKT)
Lere Mgayiya put his best foot forward and set up a shoe-shine firm after his career plans fell flat.
October 30, 2014 -- Updated 0528 GMT (1328 HKT)
One Chinese drone manufacturer wants to take away the warmongering stigma of "drones."
October 30, 2014 -- Updated 0312 GMT (1112 HKT)
Sketcher Luis Simoes is traveling the world -- slowly. And he's packed his sketchbook.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 2043 GMT (0443 HKT)
European states help North Korea's brutal treatment of its people by allowing luxury goods like cars and cognacs to evade sanctions, two experts say.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0345 GMT (1145 HKT)
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
October 31, 2014 -- Updated 1104 GMT (1904 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT