Friday, November 28, 2014 8:15 pm
The death toll from a Friday suicide bomb and gun attack at a the central mosque in Nigeria’s Kano city has risen to 120 with 270 others wounded, a rescue official said.
The official, who requested anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the media, said emergency workers were still trying to visit all the Kano area hospitals to fully assess the damage from the brutal attack targeting worshippers.
“Those figures are going to climb,” he said.
The attack at the Grand Mosque in Kano, the biggest city in the mainly Muslim north of the country, came just as Friday prayers had got under way.
The mosque is attached to the palace of the Emir of Kano Muhammad Sanusi II, Nigeria’s second most senior Muslim cleric, who just last week urged civilians to take up arms against Boko Haram.
The blasts came after a bomb attack was foiled against a mosque in the northeastern city of Maiduguri earlier on Friday, five days after two female suicide bombers killed over 45 people in the city.
National police spokesman Emmanuel Ojukwu told AFP that the bombers blew themselves up in quick succession then “gunmen opened fire on those who were trying to escape”.
Ojukwu said he did not know whether the suicide bombers were male or female, after a spate of attacks by women in recent months, and did not give an exact figure on the number of gunmen.
But he said an angry mob killed four of the shooters in the chaotic aftermath.
Worshipper Aminu Abdullahi and local resident Hajara Tukur both said that there were two explosions in quick succession and a third in a nearby road.
The Emir of Kano last week told worshippers at the same mosque that northerners should take up arms against Boko Haram, which has been fighting for a hardline Islamic state since 2009.
He also cast doubt on Nigerian troops’ ability to protect civilians and end the insurgency, in rare public comments by a cleric on political and military affairs.