At least 120 people have been killed in a series of bombings and attacks by Islamist militants in the northern Nigerian city of Kano.
Soldiers and police officers are out in force in the city in Nigeria’s Muslim north, where gunfire is still ringing out in some quarters.
The Islamist group Boko Haram, which has been blamed for hundreds of deaths in recent months, has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
A mortuary attendant at Murtala Muhammed hospital, the largest in Kano, said they had 126 bodies of people who died in the attacks, which began at 5pm on Friday afternoon after Muslim prayers. AP reported that there were soldiers and police officers among the dead.Nwakpa O Nwakpa, a spokesman for the Nigerian Red Cross, said officials were continuing to collect corpses scattered around sites of the attacks. "From what they are saying, there are many involved, either wounded or dead," Nwakpa said.
A survey of two hospitals by the Red Cross said at least 50 people were injured in Friday’s attack, he added.In a statement issued late on Friday, federal police spokesman Olusola Amore said attackers targeted five police buildings, two immigration offices and the local headquarters of the State Security Service, Nigeria’s secret police.
"The police have commenced investigation and therefore use this medium to call for calm among the residents of Kano as police are doing their best to bring the situation under control," Amore said.
Police are "appealing to members of the public to come forward with information on the identity and location of these hoodlums. Information given will be treated with utmost confidentiality."
A massive blast caused when a suicide bomber who drove a car full of explosives into a regional police headquarters shook cars miles away. Inmates at the regional police headquarters fled amid gunfire, witnesses said.
State authorities declared a 24-hour curfew late on Friday as residents hid inside their homes amid the fighting.
A Boko Haram spokesman, using the nom de guerre Abul-Qaqa, claimed responsibility for the attacks, which he said were retaliation at the state government refusing to release members of the Islamist terrorist group.
Boko Haram, which seeks to implement strict Sharia law across Nigeria, is responsible for at least 510 killings last year, according to the Associated Press. The group has been blamed for at least 76 killings this year, the news agency added.
The targets of Boko Haram, whose name means "estern education is sacrilege" in the local Hausa language, have included both Muslims and Christians. Bit the militants have promised to kill any Christians living in Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north.
The group previously claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing in August that targeted the UN headquarters in the capital, Abuja, killing 25 people and wounding more than 100. The sect killed at least 42 people during a series of attacks on Christmas Day, which included the bombing of a Catholic church outside Abuja.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:25 am
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