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Dublin: 9°C Thursday 24 September 2020

Insurgents kill 180 in attacks that rocked Nigerian city

Islamists from the Boko Haram group mounted a deadly series of bomb attacks and shooting sprees across Kano.

A victim of the attacks lies in a Kano hospital
A victim of the attacks lies in a Kano hospital
Image: Salisu Rabiu/AP/Press Association Images

THE DEATH TOLL from a series of gun and bomb attacks in one of Nigeria’s major cities has risen to at least 180, according to the latest reports.

Medics in Kano, northern Nigeria said they had counted 180 bodies at one hospital alone, according to South Africa’s IOL News. Many of the bodies are said to be charred beyond recognition.

The attacks were carried out on Friday by members of Boko Haram, an extreme Islamist organisation which mounted a series of co-ordinated gun and bomb assaults on at least four locations in the city. Reuters reports that the targets were mainly police stations.

A Boko Haram spokesman using the nom de guerre Abul-Qaqa claimed responsibility for the attacks in a message to journalists Friday. He said the attack came because the state government refused to release Boko Haram members held by the police.

Nigeria is religiously divided between Christianity and Islam, with the Muslim population mainly concentrated in the north.

Boko Haram recently said it specifically would target Christians living in Nigeria’s north, but Friday’s attack saw its gunmen kill many Muslims. In a recent video posted to the Internet, Imam Abubakar Shekau, a Boko Harm leader, warned it would kill anyone who “betrays the religion” by being part of or sympathising with Nigeria’s government.

“I swear by Allah we will kill them and their killing will be nothing to us,” Shekau said. “It will be like going to prayers at 5am.”

Nigeria’s Christian president, Goodluck Jonathan, has said the killers will be made to face “the full wrath of the law”.

- Additional reporting from AP

More: Kano rocked by explosions and gunfire>

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Michael Freeman

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