Saturday 14 December 2019

Nigeria mosque blast toll above 100

People inspect the site of a bomb explosion at the central mosque in Kano, Nigeria (AP)
People inspect the site of a bomb explosion at the central mosque in Kano, Nigeria (AP)

More than 102 people were killed in the bomb explosions at the central mosque in Kano.

The multiple explosions that hit the mosque yesterday injured more than 150, who are in urgent need of blood donations, a doctor said.

"Most of those receiving treatment in the four hospitals of the state are in dire need of blood and we are appealing to people to come and donate their blood to rescue the victims," Dr Usman Bashir said.

Hundreds had gathered in the mosque to listen to a sermon in a region terrorised by attacks from the extremist group Boko Haram.

Witnesses said heavy smoke could be seen billowing in the sky from a long distance away. Immediately after the blasts, hundreds of angry youths took to the streets in riots, throwing stones, brandishing sticks and shouting at security officials.

The palace of the emir of Kano is near the central mosque. The emir, one of the highest ranking Islamic figures in Nigeria, is currently out of the country, said palace officials.

Boko Haram has not claimed responsibility but the attack bears the hallmarks of the militant group that has carried out numerous such attacks in northern Nigeria, including in Kano.

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 1,500 have been killed this year in the insurgency, according to Amnesty International.

The attack was condemned by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon who called it "horrific," pledged UN support for Nigeria's fight against terrorism, and called for the perpetrators to be swiftly brought to justice.

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".

PA Media

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