Source: The Guardian
Dozens of people are feared dead after three bomb blasts near one of the biggest mosques in the northern Nigerian city of Kano, in an attack that bore the hallmarks of Islamist militants Boko Haram.
Witnesses said heavy smoke could be seen billowing into the sky from a long distance away while rescue operations were under way at the bomb site, with the injured and dead being taken away from the scene.
“Two bombs exploded, one after the other, in the premises of the Grand Mosque seconds after the prayers had started,” Aminu Abdullahi told Agence France-Presse. He said a third bomb went off nearby.
Hajara Tukur, who lives nearby, said the police began firing weapons in the chaos that followed the blasts, as worshippers began running for safety.
It was not clear whether Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the emir of Kano and one of the country’s most important religious leaders, was there at the time of the attack.
Preaching at Kano’s Grand Mosque last week, the emir urged northerners to take up arms against Boko Haram, and cast doubt on the military’s ability to protect civilians and end the insurgency.
Nigeria is home to more than 80 million Muslims, most of whom live in the north.