Posted by News Express | 29 November 2014 | 3,288 times
At least 50 people were killed in multiple blasts and sporadic gunfire in and around a prominent mosque in Nigeria’s northwestern Kano State as Muslims observed Friday prayers, an emergency official has said.
“I cannot tell you at the moment how many people died in total, but what I can assure you of is that no less than 50 people are dead,” Musa Ilallah, northwest zonal coordinator for the country’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), told The Anadolu Agency by phone.
He described the incident as “not ordinary and very pathetic” as his team moves around the commercial city to mobilize support for victims and ascertain the death toll.
“Victims are scattered in three hospitals; there is serious chaos at the moment. So it is really difficult getting precise figures now. By tomorrow morning, we should have the exact number of dead and injured,” Ilallah added.
“We have mobilised stakeholders and there has been a very good response. Victims were quickly evacuated from the scene of the blasts,” he asserted.
Describing how the incidents occurred, Ilallah said there had been one huge explosion inside the mosque and another two caused by car bombs that went off near the mosque.
“The explosives were detonated as people entered the mosque; there were gunshots, too,” he narrated.
“Some of the injured who tried to escape were shot dead. But hospitals and stakeholders are all responding well,” Ilallah said.
The explosions rocked the city’s main mosque, which is located next to the palace of influential traditional ruler and Islamic leader Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Emir of Kano.
Sanusi usually presides over Friday prayers at the grand mosque, but he is currently out of the country.
Two weeks ago, the emir called on Nigerians to take up arms against the militant Boko Haram group.
No group has claimed responsibility for the latest attacks, but suspicion has fallen on Boko Haram militants, who have a history of targeting their high-profile critics.
Many Muslim clerics known for criticizing the group have been assassinated in recent years in the country’s North.
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