Death toll in Nigeria bomb attacks rises to 215
Lagos, Nigeria – The death toll in Friday evening’s coordinated bomb and gun attacks on many targets in Nigeria’s northern city of Kano has risen to 215, according to the private Leadership newspaper.
The paper, which is one of the two authoritative newspapers in the north, reported on Sunday that the number was arrived at after its correspondents visited mortuaries of several hospitals in the city, including the main Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital, the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital and Sir Muhammadu Sanusi Hospital.
It said indications are that the number of those killed could rise, with many other victims lying critically injured in various hospitals.
The police and the Red Cross officials have yet to give a ballpark figure of those killed and injured, saying they were still collating the numbers.
Most of the killings reportedly took place in the Bombai area of the city, which hosts the headquarters of the state police command, police barracks and official residence of Assistant Inspector General of Police for Zone One, all of which were attacked.
Apart from police formations, the attackers also targeted the offices of the State Security Service (SSS) and the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).
The paper said that unknown to many, the attackers, now wearing police uniform, returned in the night and attacked the main police barracks in the city, hence the high casualty figures.
This could not be independently confirmed as the police have continued to keep mum on the attacks, after initially confirming the death of seven people.
The Islamic sect Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying it was in response to the arrests and detention of its members in the state.
From the high number of casualties, Friday’s attacks rank among the most brazen by the Islamic sect, which has carried out many other attacks in the predominantly-Muslim north.
Meanwhile, the Kano state government has relaxed the 24-hour curfew imposed on the state.
State Commissioner for Information, Dr. Umar Farouk, announced the relaxation on the radio on Saturday evening, saying it would now be from 7pm to 6am (local time), to enable people to do their daily chores.
However, armed soldiers – who were deployed in the wake of the attacks – on Sunday continued to patrol major streets in the city and to guard key buildings and installations.
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