Skip to main content

Attackers kill 3 North Korean physicians in Nigeria, official says

By Vladimir Duthiers, CNN
updated 9:28 AM EST, Fri February 15, 2013
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
updated 10:21 AM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
The first human trial of an experimental Ebola vaccine has produced promising results, U.S. scientists said.
updated 9:15 AM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot unarmed black teen in August abandoned home after address made public.
updated 5:36 PM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
HBO -- backing a documentary based on "Going Clear," a book about Scientology and Hollywood -- isn't taking any chances with legal side.
updated 2:35 PM EST, Wed November 26, 2014
Grandmaster Nguyen Van Chieu has devoted his adult life to spreading the word about Vietnames martial art, Vovinam.
updated 6:36 AM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
England cricketer Nick Compton shares insight into "drive and courage" it takes to face fears as top batsman.
updated 7:59 PM EST, Wed November 26, 2014
Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson says he was just doing his "job right" when he shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown.
updated 8:18 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
updated 6:18 PM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says women's "nature is different," sparking fury.
updated 5:43 AM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
updated 8:21 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
updated 7:51 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
updated 10:50 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
updated 4:06 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
updated 6:19 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
updated 2:45 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
updated 12:03 PM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
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