Nigeria mosque raid deaths reach 102
29 November 2014
Last updated at 18:45
The number of people who died in an attack on a mosque has risen to 102, hospital workers said.
The president of Nigeria has vowed “to leave no stone unturned” in tracking down the perpetrators of the gun and bomb attack during Friday’s prayers in the northern city of Kano.
Goodluck Jonathan urged the nation “to confront the common enemy”.
No-one has so far claimed the attack but officials say it bears the hallmarks of Boko Haram militant group.
Kano’s Central Mosque, where the attack took place, is where the influential Muslim leader, the emir of Kano, usually leads prayers.
He recently called for people to arm themselves against Boko Haram, so it is possible that this attack was in response to that call, says the BBC’s Will Ross in Abuja.
Boko Haram, a Sunni Islamist group, has been waging an insurgency in Nigeria since 2009 and has killed more than 2,000 people this year, human rights groups say.
At the scene: Will Ross, Nigeria correspondent
It is a scene of absolute devastation inside the oldest mosque in Kano.
The attack has caused a lot of anger in the city.
Out on the streets there is still tension. There are police moving around and occasionally people running helter-skelter not knowing quite what is going on. It is a city on edge.
To give an idea of the level of anger – three of the gunmen were actually overpowered when they were shooting worshippers outside the mosque and they were beaten and burnt to death on the spot.
President Jonathan ordered the country’s security services “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”.
A number of the injured are being treated at Kano’s hospital
Eyewitnesses spoke of three bomb explosions and a gunfight near the mosque
He said Nigerians should “remain united to confront the common enemy”.
The government, he said, would “continue to take every step to put an end to the reprehensible acts of all groups and persons involved in acts of terrorism”.
Three bomb explosions were reported in and around the mosque. The attackers also shot at worshippers.
Some reports say the first bomb was hidden in a car which was driven straight into the worshippers.
One eyewitness told the BBC’s Focus on Africa: “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.”
Several men then opened fire on the crowd, killing more people. Three of the gunmen were then killed by the crowd, our correspondent says.
Most victims were men or boys with blast injuries and severe burns.
BBC Hausa editor Mansur Liman said one witness at a local hospital had described the scenes there as being the most horrible he had ever seen.
Boko Haram has stepped up attacks against civilian targets since the Nigerian military launched an offensive last year.
The group carries out almost daily attacks mostly in the north-east of the country. Also on Friday, the security forces said they had foiled an attempt to attack worshippers in the north-eastern city of Maiduguri, defusing six bombs planted in a mosque and a nearby market.
The militants were also behind the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok in Borno state this year, an act that sparked international outrage.
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has declared an Islamic state in the north-east
Who are Boko Haram?
- Founded in 2002
- Initially focused on opposing Western education – Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language
- Launched military operations in 2009 to create Islamic state
- Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria – also attacked police and UN headquarters in capital, Abuja
- Some three million people affected
- Declared terrorist group by US in 2013
Who are Boko Haram?
Profile: Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau
November 29th, 2014