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Scores of people have been killed in three explosions during Friday prayers at one of the biggest mosques in the Nigerian city of Kano, reports say.

The Central Mosque is close to the Emir of Kano’s palace and is where the influential Muslim leader usually leads prayers.

The Emir, Muhammad Sanusi, is currently in Saudi Arabia.

An eyewitness said he had counted about 50 bodies, but this figure has not been verified.

Other reports say some gunmen went on a shooting spree in the northern city after the blasts.

The militant Islamist Boko Haram group has targeted the city, the largest in northern Nigeria, several times during its five-year insurgency.

But most of its attacks are further east.

Earlier this month, the Emir called on people to defend themselves against Boko Haram.

At a prayer meeting Muhammad Sanusi said residents should “acquire what they need” to protect themselves.

A police spokesman said the Emir’s comments were a “call for anarchy” and should not be acted on.

The Emir, who until earlier this year was governor of Nigeria’s central bank, normally stays silent on political matters.

At least 13 people have been killed after gunmen have attacked a teacher training college in the Nigerian city of Kano, officials said.

Students were seen fleeing from the city’s Federal College of Education and at least one explosion was heard.

Another 34 people were injured.

It is not clear who was responsible, although suspicion will fall on militant Islamist group Boko Haram, which has been waging an insurgency in Nigeria since 2009.

In July 2014, Kano suffered a spate of five attacks in four days, one of which also targeted a college and killed six people.

In July 2014, Kano suffered a spate of five attacks in four days, one of which also targeted a college and killed six people

In July 2014, Kano suffered a spate of five attacks in four days, one of which also targeted a college and killed six people (photo Reuters)

In May 2013, Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan imposed a state of emergency in the northern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, vowing to crush the insurgency.

However, the militants have stepped up attacks, killing more than 2,000 civilians this year, according to New York-based Human Rights Watch.


Boko Haram’s name translates as “Western education is forbidden”, and it has carried out several attacks on schools and colleges, seeing them as a symbol of Western culture.

In April, Boko Haram raided a boarding school in Chibok town in the northern state of Borno, and is holding more than 200 girls that its gunmen abducted during that attack.

Red Cross officials say at least 16 people have been killed in a gun and bomb attack at Bayero University in Nigeria’s northern city of Kano.

Six others were in a serious condition following the attack at Bayero University campus where Christian worshippers were holding a service.

Nigerian police are searching for the gunmen.

No group has said it launched the attack, but the violent Islamist Boko Haram group is active in Kano. It has recently attacked churches.

Nigeria’s central government has struggled to contain the militant group, which operates mainly in the predominantly Muslim north, but has also struck as far south as the capital, Abuja.

Sunday’s attack took place in one of the lecture theatres used as a place of worship by Christians.

A witness told AFP news agency the attackers had first thrown in explosives and fired shots, “causing a stampede among worshippers”.

“They now pursued them, shooting them with guns. They also attacked another service at the sporting complex.”

At least 16 people have been killed in a gun and bomb attack at Bayero University in Nigeria's northern city of Kano

At least 16 people have been killed in a gun and bomb attack at Bayero University in Nigeria's northern city of Kano

Another witness spoke of “pandemonium”, and said he had seen two men shooting indiscriminately.

Mohammed Suleiman, a history lecturer at the university, said security guards had to run for their lives when the violence broke out.

“For over 30 minutes a series of bomb explosions and gun shots took over the old campus, around the academic blocks,” he told Reuters news agency.

A Red Cross spokesman said adults – possibly professors – and three women were among the casualties. Several needed urgent blood transfusions.

Kano state police spokesman Ibrahim Idris said that by the time police arrived, the attackers had “disappeared into the neighborhood”. A manhunt is under way.

But the situation at the university was now calm, according to the Red Cross spokesman.

Boko Haram carried out a bombing in Kano in January that killed more than 180 people, its deadliest attack to date.

Boko Haram

• 2002: Founded in Maiduguri

• July 2009: Hundreds of members killed when Maiduguri police stations stormed; police capture and kill sect leader Mohammed Yusuf

• Dec 2010: Bombed Jos, killing 80 people; blamed for New Year’s Eve attack on Abuja barracks

• Jun-Aug 2011: Bomb attacks on Abuja police HQ and UN building

• Dec 2011: Multiple bomb attacks on Christmas Day kill dozens

• Jan 2012: Wave of violence across north-east Nigeria; Kano bombing kills at least 180

 

158 suspected members of the Islamist Boko Haram organization has been arrested in raids in the northern city of Kano by Nigerian forces.

Boko Haram said it carried out a series of bombings in Kano last Friday in which at least 185 people died.

The organization says it wants to overthrow the Nigerian government and impose Islamic law.

There were two casualties from Tuesday’s dawn raids, carried out by the Nigerian Joint Military Task Force.

One resident of Kano said officers had encircled a house where a Boko Haram suspect was believed to be hiding. The shoot-out lasted several hours.

“They began shooting, and he fired back… This was followed by a barrage of gunfire by the security men,” Mohammed Maikubi Bala told AFP news agency.

A man and his wife were killed in the raid, residents said.

158 suspected members of the Islamist Boko Haram organization has been arrested in raids in the northern city of Kano by Nigerian forces

158 suspected members of the Islamist Boko Haram organization has been arrested in raids in the northern city of Kano by Nigerian forces

Attacks by Boko Haram killed close to 1,000 people last year, according to campaign groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Amnesty said the Nigerian government should do more to tackle the group.

“The Nigerian government has repeatedly failed to prevent, investigate, prosecute or punish these acts,” it said.

The key suspect in a Christmas Day bombing on a Catholic church – believed to be a member of the Islamist sect Boko Haram – escaped from police custody earlier this month.

At least 40 people died in that attack.

A top African Union official warned that the radical sect was escalating its activities.

“The possibility of this group expanding its activities into the neighboring countries, deep into the Central African region should not be discarded,” said Francisco Caetano Jose Madeira, in charge of counter terrorism co-operation for the AU.

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About 150 people have been killed during the co-ordinated attacks by Islamist militants in the northern Nigerian city of Kano on Friday, witnesses and reports say.

Hospitals are struggling to deal with the numbers of killed and injured.

A series of explosions ripped apart police buildings, passport offices and immigration centres on the city, which is now under a 24-hour curfew.

Boko Haram militants said they carried out the attacks, which would be their bloodiest assault to date.

The group has said it wants to overthrow the national government and install an Islamic state.

Its members have frequently attacked police stations and other symbols of state power, but the group has also bombed churches and killed hundreds of people – including many Muslim and Christian civilians.

President Goodluck Jonathan promised that the perpetrators would “face the full wrath of the law”.

“As a responsible government, we will not fold our hands and watch enemies of democracy, for that is what these mindless killers are, perpetrate unprecedented evil in our land,” Goodluck Jonathan said.

About 150 people have been killed during the co-ordinated attacks by Islamist militants in the northern Nigerian city of Kano on Friday, witnesses and reports say

About 150 people have been killed during the co-ordinated attacks by Islamist militants in the northern Nigerian city of Kano on Friday, witnesses and reports say

 

On Saturday in Kano, a city of nine million people, most of them Muslims, Red Cross teams have been collecting bodies from the streets and taking them to mortuaries.

A medical official told the AP news agency that 143 people had been killed, and another official told AFP that 162 bodies had been counted.

Boko Haram, which loosely translates from the local Hausa language as “Western education is forbidden”, has been behind a string of attacks in recent years.

The group wants Islamic law across Nigeria, whose population is split between the largely Muslim north, and the south where Christianity and traditional beliefs predominate.

It first hit the headlines in 2009 when a spate of attacks by its followers on police and government buildings in the city of Maiduguri led to a crackdown in which hundreds died.

More recently, the group has launched bomb attacks on churches, drive-by shootings on government targets and other attacks across northern Nigeria, killing scores and forcing many more to flee.

But the Kano attacks appear to be the group’s most deadly co-ordinated assault.

The police said in a statement that four police stations around the city, the headquarters of the State Security Service (SSS), as well as passport and immigration offices had been targeted.

There was also a shoot-out at the headquarters of the state police in the city’s eastern district of Bompai, reports said.

A local man, Andrew Samuel, described the scene of one blast: “I was on the roadside and I just heard a ‘boom’. As I came back, I saw the building of the police headquarters crashing down and I ran for my life.”

Witnesses said the bomber who attacked one of the police stations pulled up outside the building on a motorbike, dismounted and ran inside holding a bag.

Some unconfirmed reports have claimed suicide bombers carried out some of the attacks.

Nigeria’s Channels TV said in a statement that one of its reporters, Enenche Akogwu, had been killed in the attacks.

It said he had been “shot by unknown gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect”, outside the state government house.

The wounded were reported to include foreigners from an area near the SSS headquarters, which is home to many expatriates, particularly Lebanese and Indians.

A Boko Haram spokesman, Abul Qaqa, told journalists that it had carried out the attacks because the authorities had refused to release group members arrested in Kano.

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