Explosions killed more than 100 people as they gathered for Friday prayers in Nigeria’s northern city of Kano.
The death toll may rise when bodies that were taken to other hospitals in northern Nigeria’s biggest city have been counted, said the nurse, Ibrahim Shehu. While no group claimed responsibility for the explosions, the Islamist militant group Boko Haram has carried out bomb and gun attacks in a five-year campaign to impose Islamic law in Africa’s biggest oil producer.
“We have counted about 109 dead bodies at the Murtala general hospital alone, apart from the ones at Nasarawa and Bamalli hospitals,” Ibrahim Shehu said yesterday in an interview at Murtala Mohammed hospital.
The U.S. State Department said in a statement last night that the attacks “while as yet unclaimed, have all of the hallmarks of Boko Haram and the group’s disregard for human life as it continues in its efforts to destabilize Nigeria.”
Two explosions went off on the premises of the central mosque near the Emir’s palace in Kano followed by a third in the crowd of worshipers, Saminu Hassan, a witness to the blasts, said by phone.
“We have been evacuating the dead bodies and those that sustained injuries to Murtala general hospital using tricycles and buses,” said another witness, Abazarru Idriss.
Ishaya Chinoko, the coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency in Abuja, the capital, said he couldn’t give casualty figures.
Police have confirmed 36 deaths, Sunusi Lemu, Kano’s acting police commissioner, told reporters. More than 150 people were injured, he said. Three suspected attackers were lynched by angry youths at the scene, Lemu said.
The Kano attack followed an explosion in the city of Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, that didn’t injure anyone, a member of a vigilante group, Mohammed Ibrahim, said by phone from the northeastern city.
A roadside bomb on Nov. 27 killed 35 people in the northeastern town of Mubi, Young Moris, the head of a local group of hunters who’ve joined government forces in the battle against the Islamist militants said.
President Goodluck Jonathan said in September that Boko Haram, which means “Western education is a sin” in the Hausa language, has killed more than 13,000 people in its campaign to impose Islamic law in Nigeria.
Source: Bloomberg / Nov. 29, 2014