A suspected Boko Haram attack in Nigeria’s second-largest city yesterday claimed dozens of lives and injured over a hundred people.
Multiple explosions tore through Kano, in northern Nigeria, yesterday in a highly organised attack as hundreds of Muslims gathered to hear a sermon in the Grand Mosque.
One bomb exploded inside the mosque, one of the country’s largest, and two others detonated at the gates of the adjoining palace, home to the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who condemned Boko Haram in a recent sermon.
Emir Sanusi, one of the highest ranking Islamic figures in Nigeria, was reported to have been out of the country at the time of the attack, which killed 35 people and injured an estimated 150.
“After multiple explosions, they also opened fire,” a palace official told Reuters. “I cannot tell you the casualties because we all ran away,” he added yesterday.
Although Boko Haram has not claimed responsibility, the attack bears many of the Islamic extremist group’s hallmarks.
In September, two suicide bombers killed at least 15 students at a government college and in July, five suicide bombings were carried out over the course of a week.
More than 3,000 have been killed this year in the insurgency which is threatening the stability of the nation.
Furious worshippers turned on police and Nigerian authorities when they arrived on the scene, throwing rocks as they accused them of failing to protect civilian lives.
A witness, named only as Bello, told the Guardian: “We are frustrated because it is as if we are not safe anywhere in Nigeria any more”.
Another witness, Mohammed Gwadabe, claimed that police opened fire to disperse the crowds – but instead killed several worshippers in the process.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the attack "horrific," pledged UN support for Nigeria's fight against terrorism, and called for the perpetrators to be swiftly brought to justice, according to his spokesman.
The 10 most conflicted countries in the world
The 10 most conflicted countries in the world
1/10 South Sudan
The world's newest country is also the least peaceful nation in the world, according to the 2014 Global Peace Index
The rise of Isis in the country has led to much unrest and violence, with thousands displaced from the minority Yazidi sect
The nation has been fraught with civil war and famine. Most recently the military have been fighting Islamist insurgents Al-Shabaab
Since the country divided into two, there has been continuing unrest. This year the Sudanese army and rebels engaged in heavy fighting near the city of Kadugli
5/10 Central African Republic
The nation has endured a violent civil war since 2012. Last year the government fell to rebels and the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the situation in the country was precarious
6/10 Democratic Republic of the Congo
Civil wars have kept this country high in the ranks as one of the most conflicted places on the globe
Political corruption and instability have dogged Pakistan, as have conflicts with India over the disputed Kashmir region
8/10 North Korea
Despite its secretive nature, the Communist state has ended up as one of the most conflicted nations in the world due to internal problems
Russia has annexed Crimea and been accused by the West of arming rebels who have taken over parts of eastern Ukraine - which has led to the ongoing conflict
Since 2002 the militant Islamist movement Boko Haram has caused much violence in the country in a bid to establish Sharia law and abolish the secular government. This year the terrorist group kidnapped 276 schoolgirls, leading to international criticism of the government's lack of action
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan condemned the attack and reiterated the government's determination to "continue to take every step to put an end to the reprehensible acts of all groups and persons involved in acts of terrorism."
Roughly a million people have fled the country as Boko Haram’s reach has spread, with their attacks often targeting Muslims as well as Christians.
Despite a successful military operation to push Boko Haram back into the northern hinterlands of Nigeria, the group still launches devastating attacks against anyone who dares to speak out.
Born into one of the oldest and grandest Islamic legacies, Emir Sanusi quit a banking job in the 1990s and returned to his home country to take up politics, as well as assuming his position as Emir – roughly translated as prince.
Wading into the Sharia debate, he has consistently argued for a more modern approach urging authorities to focus instead on rampant corruption and poverty within Nigeria.
Emir Sansui, a highly recognisable figure with a penchant for pinstripe suits and red bow ties, is among the few Islamic leaders to directly name and condemn Boko Haram.
Additional reporting from APReuse content