Nigeria: Bomb blast rocks Kano Central Mosque as hundreds are killed.

Hundreds of people have been killed in explosions during Friday prayers at Kano city central mosque in the Nigerian northern region.

Hundreds of people have been hurt, with one rescue official putting casualty figures at more than 300.

The Central Mosque is where the influential Muslim leader, the Emir of Kano, usually leads prayers.

The emir recently called for people to arm themselves against Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

The group has been waging an insurgency in Nigeria since 2009 and has killed more than 2,000 people this year, human rights groups say.

The reports said there was gunfire in Kano after the explosions an the rescue official put the casualty toll at 324 dead and 619 hurt, although this has not been independently confirmed.

One worshipper, Aminu Abdullahi, said “Two bombs exploded, one after the other, in the premises of the mosque seconds after the prayers had started.” He said the third blast was on a nearby road.

One local reporter, Tijjani Usman, told Reuters he was “face to face with people screaming”.

Report also said one witness at a local hospital had described the scenes there as being the most horrible he had ever seen.

Our editor says Boko Haram will be the main suspects, as the attack bore all the hallmarks of the group.

No-one from the group has yet commented.
Boko Haram has stepped up attacks against civilian targets since the Nigerian military launched an offensive last year.

Boko Haram was also behind the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok in Borno state this year, an act that sparked international outrage.

The emir, Lamido Sanusi, is currently in Saudi Arabia, sources in the emir’s palace told PALM that he had arrived in Saudi Arabia late on Thursday night from Paris.

Boko Haram has targeted the city, the largest in northern Nigeria, several times during its insurgency, But most of its attacks are further east – in Borno, Yobe and and other neighbouring states.

Earlier this month, the emir told a prayer meeting that people should “acquire arms” to protect themselves, but a police spokesman refuted and said the emir’s comments were a “call for anarchy” and should not be acted on.

Emir’s normally stays silent on political matters but reverse is the case on the current Emir who until now was the country’s central bank governor.


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