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At least 26 students killed in Nigeria college attacks

At least 26 people have been killed at a university residence in northeastern Nigeria. Islamist insurgents have been active in the area, but police say the killings could be the result of a political feud on campus.

The killings occurred at a student residence for a Federal Polytechnic college in the town of Mubi, in the state of Adamawa. A college spokesman confirmed that the death toll had risen to 26. While most accounts spoke of shootings, at least one witness said some of the attackers used machetes.

The Islamist group Boko Haram, which has targeted students in the past as well as the wider Adamawa state, was immediately suspected of being behind the attack. Boko Haram, which aims to create an Islamist state in northern Nigera, has been blamed for more than 1,000 deaths since it stepped up its insurgency in 2010.

However, authorities are also looking into the possibility that the killings may have been sparked by a political feud among student groups.

National Emergency Management Agency spokesman Yushua Shuaib told the Reuters news agency that a police investigation would look into a fallout between rival gangs, following a student union election on Sunday.

"They think the ones who were disgruntled might have been the ones who were doing the attack," Shuaib said.

Mohammed Ibrahim, a spokesman for the Adamawa police force told Reuters "We learned that when they came for the attack, they called out the names of some of the victims and killed them as they came out. Some they left alone, which gives us a clue that this was the work of insiders" .

The college has been closed for the time being.

pfd,jr/ch (Reuters, dpa, AP, epd)