Friday, April 18, 2014

120 feared dead in Kano Boko Haram attacks

Published:

Channels reporter, Enenche Akogwu, killed in the attacks

About 120 people may have died in yesterday’s multiple explosions in Kano, Nigeria’s second largest city, the Associated Press is reporting.

Although no official casualty figure has been released by authorities, AP reporters, who visited the Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital, where the remains of  victims were taken, counted more than 100 corpses in the hospital’s mortuary.

The figure, the report further said, did not include those evacuated to other hospitals in the city.

Officials of the National Emergency Management Agency told Premium Times this morning official casualty figures are still being compiled.

Seven deaths were confirmed yesterday but it was clear even then that the figure would definitely rise given the magnitude of the attacks, for which the extremist Boko Haram sect has claimed responsibility.

Read our earlier story on the explosion below

What appears a coordinated multiple explosions have occurred in several locations in Kano, residents of the ancient city have told Premium Times.

An interim report of the incidents suggest that seven people, including a  Channels television reporter, Enenche Akogwu, and an immigration officer,  have died in the blasts, with several others seriously injured.

The late Mr. Okwumegu had just left Lagos yesterday for Kano. He had come to Lagos to get a new camera, having lost his former one, an editor with Channels told Premium Times.

The first explosion at 5 p.m. occurred at the zone 1 headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force, along Bayero University (BUK) road. The zone is headed by an Assistant Inspector General, who is in charge of the police commands in the three states of Kano, Katsina and Jigawa.

Eyewitnesses said the blast occurred shortly after a suicide bomber in a Golf car, with a Lagos registration number plate, crashed into the zonal police headquarters, killing himself and three police officers, with several others injured.


A source said when the suicide bomber first arrived, officers on guard at the entrance of the complex subjected him to a routine check which he declined.


He then crashed into the gate and rammed his car into vehicles parked beside the main building and exploded.

The explosion shattered the entire building, with the roofs, windows and doors, as well as office furniture in the various offices, destroyed. 

As residents were still reeling from the impact of the blast, other explosions went off almost simultaneously  in two other police locations – the Zaria Road Police Station and Farm Centre Police Station.

Eyewitnesses say the two stations were levelled by the explosions and that several people are feared dead.

An unconfirmed report said a fourth explosion went off shortly afterwards at the headquarters of the State Security Service in the state. Another report however said SSS operatives were able to gun down the attackers as they were about to strike.

The extremist Boko Haram sect has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Also reportedly affected by the explosion is the NNPC mega station in the city.

The immigration office in the city was also reportedly attacked by gunmen, killing three officers and some civilians.  

The state police commissioner as well as his spokesperson could not be reached for comments. But an official of the National Emergency Management Agency confirmed the incident, describing it as scary. 

“Multiple explosions at different spots targeting security agencies in Kano today,” NEMA spokesperson, Yushau Shuaib. “Rescue workers are evacuating victims to hospitals.”

He said official casualty figures were not available because the rescue efforts were still on.

He however added that more NEMA officials from the agency’s Kaduna regional office had moved to Kano to assist in rescue and relief effort with other stakeholders.

The state government has slammed a 24-hour curfew on the state in response to the attacks.

 

 

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