Scores killed and over 100 injured in suspected Boko Haram attack on Nigeria's Grand Mosque

Hundreds had gathered in Kano for a sermon at the country's largest mosque when three separate bombs detonated

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.

nigeria-ap.jpg
Grainy footage emerged from inside the mosque

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.

 

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.

nigeria2-afp.jpg
Local hospitals were overwhelmed as the wounded were rushed for treatment

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 AP

Comments