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OMG, over 120 persons died in yesterday’s mosque bomb explosions

No fewer than 120 died and 270 were
injured on Friday as the violent Boko Haram sect bombed the 10,000
capacity Kano Central Mosque where the Emir, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido
Sanusi, usually leads prayers.
About 10 gunmen went on a shooting spree after the blast at the mosque, which is close to the Emir of Kano’s palace.

A rescue official, who spoke with Agence
France-Presse, put casualty figures at almost 400, adding that 120 were
killed and 270 hurt in the three explosions that rocked the mosque.
The emir was said to have travelled to Saudi Arabia late on Thursday night from Paris.
Witnesses said the incident happened just as residents were getting set for Friday prayers.
“The attackers have bombed the mosque. I
saw people screaming,” a local reporter who resides in Kano, Chijjani
Usman, told Reuters.
Another eyewitness told the British Broadcasting Corporation that he had counted over 50 bodies immediately after the blasts.
Also, the Editor, BBC Hausa Service,
Mansur Liman, was quoted as saying that people had witnessed “horrible”
scenes in a nearby hospital.
One eyewitness, who spoke with the BBC’s
Focus on Africa, said, “The imam was about to start prayer when he saw
somebody in a car trying to force himself into the mosque. But when
people stopped him, he detonated the explosions. People started running
helter-skelter.”
Another worshipper, Aminu Abdullahi, who
also spoke to AFP, said, “Two bombs exploded, one after the other, in
the premises of the Grand Mosque seconds after the prayers had started.”
“A third one went off in a nearby road
close to the Qadiriyya Sufi order. The blasts were followed by gunshots
by the police to scare off potential attacks.”
His account was backed up by another witness, Hajara Tukur, who said she lives nearby.
A senior rescue official confirmed that
several bodies had been brought to just one Kano area hospital, while
over 126 people had been admitted with injuries at three facilities.
“Those figures are going to climb,” he told AFP on condition of anonymity, as he was not authorised to speak to the media.
A military official, Capt. Ikechukwu Eze, also said scores of people were feared killed and many others injured in the attack.
A check by one of our correspondents at
the mortuaries of both the Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital and the
Nasarawa Hospital in the heart of the city showed they were filled with
bodies of victims of the blasts while some of them littered the ground.
Meanwhile, two suspected bomber were
said to have been arrested at the scene of the incident, just as youths
took to the street to protest what they called negligence by the police
for not doing enough to protect the lives and property of the people.
The Kano State Police Command’s Public
Relations Officer, Mustapha Abubakar,confirmed the incident but declined
to give the casualty.
The emir had recently called for people to arm themselves against Islamist militant group Boko Haram.
Earlier this month, the emir told a prayer meeting that people should “acquire what they need” to protect themselves.
The Boko Haram terrorist group has killed more than 2,000 people this year, according to rights groups’ reports.
The Kano blasts came after a bomb attack
was also foiled at a mosque in Maiduguri on Friday morning; five days
after two female suicide bombers killed over 45 people in the city.
The Emir of Kano last week doubted the Nigerian troops’ ability to protect civilians and end the insurgency.
This had prompted his advice to Kano residents to arm themselves against Boko Haram attacks.
The Emir of Kano is an influential
figure in Nigeria, which is home to more than 80 million Muslims, most
of who live in the North.
Boko Haram has repeatedly attacked Kano
before. On November 14, a suicide bomb attack at a filling station
killed six people, including three policemen.
In Maiduguri, the capital of Borno
State, civilian vigilantes said they had discovered a suspected
remote-controlled device planted in the Gamboru Market area of the city.
It was successfully defused by the
police bomb squad but as the bomb was being made safe, another device
exploded nearby. There were no casualties, as the area had been cordoned
off.
“Our assumption is that the bombs were
planted ahead of Friday prayers in the mosque just nearby,” civilian
vigilante Babakura Adam said.
“Of course, it is Boko Haram’s handiwork
because in the last few days several arrests have been made of
suspected female suicide bombers.”
Adam said the arrests were made on Wednesday and Thursday.
Fears have grown in Maiduguri about an
upsurge in Boko Haram attacks, after the militant Islamists took over
more than two dozen towns in Borno and two neighbouring states in recent
months.
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday promised that the attackers would be held accountable.
He spoke in a statement at the commissioning of the Federal High Court complex in Asaba, Delta state.
The President, who spoke through the
Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, commended the Chief
Judge and other justices in the state for their support for government’s
resolve to hold accountable all the perpetrators of terrorist acts
across the country.
He said the presence of a high court in
virtually all the states of the federation was a good development as it
would bring justice closer to the people.
Jonathan said, “I have been duly
informed that the practice directions issued by the court has
contributed significantly to the reduction of trial delays and
engendered speedy trial of terrorism and allied offences.
“This is in tandem with this
administration’s determined efforts to expand access to justice for the
people and ensure that Nigerians are able to access the courts for the
purposes of resolving their disputes.”
The President also directed all security
agencies in the country to launch what he called a full-scale
investigation into the blast that occurred at the Central Mosque in
Kano.
He asked them to leave no stone unturned until all terror agents across the country are apprehended and prosecuted.
Jonathan gave the directive in a
statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben
Abati, in which he described the Kano incident as a heinous attack.
In the face of the attacks however, the
President called on all Nigerians not to despair “in this moment of
great trial in our nation’s history.”
He asked them to remain united to
confront the common enemy. He appealed to them to remain vigilant and
cooperate with security agencies to win the on-going war against terror.
The statement read, “President Goodluck
Ebele Jonathan extends heartfelt condolences to the people and
Government of Kano State over the heinous attack on the Central Mosque
in Kano, earlier today.
“He commiserates with all the families
who lost their loved ones. The President calls on relief agencies and
medical personnel to deploy every possible effort to assist the injured,
and the general public to heed the call for the donation of blood by
the hospitals where the injured are being treated.
“The President has further directed the
security agencies to launch a full-scale investigation and to leave no
stone unturned until all agents of terror undermining the right of every
citizen to life and dignity, are tracked down and brought to justice.
“The President reaffirms that terrorism
in all its forms and manifestation is a despicable and unjustifiable
threat to our society. He reiterates the determination of the government
to continue to take every step to put an end to the reprehensible acts
of all groups and persons involved in acts of terrorism.
“President Jonathan calls on all
Nigerians not to despair in this moment of great trial in our nation’s
history but to remain united to confront the common enemy.
“The President is confident that no
terrorist act against fellow citizens will destroy the Nigerian spirit
to remain positive, resolute and united in the quest for lasting peace
and security in the country.
“He appeals to all Nigerians to remain
vigilant and cooperate actively with our security agencies to win the
on-going war against terror.”
The Northern socio-cultural group, the Arewa Consultative Forum, described the attack as wicked, callous and barbaric.
The ACF, through its National Publicity
Secretary, Muhammad Ibrahim in Kaduna on Friday, said the group received
the news of the blasts with shock and disbelief, adding that the
several attacks in some part of the North in recent time were most
disturbing.
According to the ACF, the insecurity
situation in the region is a clear manifestation of the Federal
Government’s inability to protect the lives and property of Nigerians.
The Forum, therefore, called on the
Federal Government to deploy all its apparatus to areas that are being
confronted with Boko Haram insurgency.
A statement issued by the group read,
“The Arewa Consultative Forum learnt with shock and disbelief the three
bomb explosions that occurred in the Central Mosque near the Emir’s
palace in Kano city. The bomb blast aimed at Muslims in the mosque that
left many dead and scores of others injured was wicked, callous and
barbaric.
“The recent bomb explosions in Yola,
Maiduguri, Azare, Kontagora and many other towns in the North coupled
with the daily killing of innocent people by insurgents are very
disturbing and worrisome.
“This insecurity situation that has
engulfed the North is a clear manifestation of Federal Government’s
inability to protect the people as intelligence and equipment required
to contain the situation appears lacking.
“ACF urges the people of Kano in
particular to exercise some restrain, remain calm and avoid taking the
law into their hands or blamed innocent people that have lived with them
peacefully. We equally call upon the people to unite and protect
themselves through intelligence sharing with security agencies.”
The ACF, however, appealed to the Kano
State Government and other states rocked by bomb explosions in the last
one week to provide free medical treatment to the injured victims.

 culled from Punch

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