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Nigeria: dozens killed and hundreds hurt in Kano mosque attack

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Nigeria: dozens killed and hundreds hurt in Kano mosque attack


Dozens of people have been killed and perhaps hundreds injured in a suicide bomb and gun attack on the central mosque in north Nigeria’s biggest city Kano.

It bears the hallmarks of Boko Haram militants whose targets have included mosques that don’t share their radical Islamist ideology.

Hospital sources have estimated that more than 80 people died. Earlier, emergency teams put the figure at 120.

Reports say one or more bombs went off, before armed men fired on worshippers trying to flee.

Police say four of around 15 attackers were killed by the crowd while the others escaped.

No-one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack as worshippers gathered for Friday prayers but suspicion fell on Islamist militants from the Boko Haram group.

Boko Haram regards the traditional Islamic religious authorities in Nigeria with disdain, considering them a corrupt, self-serving elite that is too close to the secular government.

The insurgents have attacked churches, schools, police stations, military bases, government buildings and mosques.

The grand mosque in Kano is where last week the emir of the city, Mohammed Sanusi II, called on the people of northern Nigeria to take up arms against Boko Haram.

Formerly the governor of Nigeria ‘s central bank, he is the country’s second most influential Muslim leader.

There has been speculation over his whereabouts at the time of the attack, with reports saying he is in Saudi Arabia.

At Maiduguri in the northeast local militia are said to have prevented a second attack.

Boko Haram’s violence and repression during their five-year insurgency has left 13,000 dead and one-and-a-half million displaced from their homes.

If the group is confirmed to have carried out the latest attack it would be one of their worst.

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