NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – Sudan’s military bombed a Bible school built by a U.S. Christian aid group, prompting students and teachers at the school to run for their lives in the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan state.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations condemned the attack.
Pictures obtained by The Associated Press on Friday showed that two stone school buildings were demolished in the attack. No one was hurt or killed despite the fact school was in session.
Ryan Boyette, a former aid worker who lives in Sudan and is now leading a team of 15 citizen journalists, spoke to a teacher at the site of Wednesday’s attack in the Nuba Mountains. The teacher, Zachariah Boulus, told Boyette that he couldn’t find his wife and children after the attack because everyone ran into the mountains for safety.
Boyette said that two of eight bombs dropped hit the school.
The Heiban Bible College was built by Samaritan’s Purse, a North Carolina-based aid group. Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham said the attack was carried out by the Sudanese Air Force.
“Please pray for the safety of believers, and that God would intervene,” Graham said.
Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said she was outraged by what she called a “heinous” bombing.
“It was the first day of school, and the campus was full of students, teachers and families,” Rice said in a statement. “While miraculously no one was killed, this attack-involving eight bombs dropped from the air-underscores the viciousness of Sudan’s ongoing military campaign in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states.”
The Nuba Mountains have been an area of conflict between Sudan’s military and a rebel group formerly aligned with South Sudan for months. Tens of thousands of people have fled the violence. Rice said the conflict is affecting more than 500,000 people.
If the conflict continues, it could precipitate a famine, Rice said. Sudan is preventing aid groups from accessing parts of Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.