Bomb attacks targeting security forces and gun battles killed at least 162 people in Nigeria’s second-largest city of Kano, where bodies littered the streets on Saturday, sources said.
The main newspaper in the north said a purported spokesman for Islamist group Boko Haram had claimed responsibility for the violence, saying it was in response to authorities’ refusal to release its members from custody.
Scores of such attacks in Nigeria’s north have been blamed on Boko Haram, though Friday’s would be among the group’s most audacious and well-coordinated assaults.
Some 20 huge blasts could be heard in the city as a suicide bomberstruck a regional police office and a car bomb rocked state police headquarters after the attacker fled and was shot dead, police sources said.
A number of other police posts were targeted, including a secret police building, as well as immigration offices.
Gunfire shook a number of areas, and a local television journalist was among those shot dead as he covered the unrest.
“We have been receiving dead bodies since last night from relief agencies involved in the evacuation of bodies,” an official at the city’s main morgue said on condition of anonymity.
“At this moment we have 162 bodies in the morgue, and this figure may change because bodies are still being brought,” he added.
A source with the Red Cross said his agency alone had counted 121 dead.
An AFP correspondent counted at least 80 bodies in the main morgue, many of them with gunshot wounds, and said there were piles of other corpses he was unable to count.
Around 100 people waited outside the morgue to collect their relatives’ remains.
Authorities have not given a precise death toll.
“We don’t have an exact toll, but the number of dead bodies recovered from various parts of the city by relief workers is well above 100,” said Kano state information commissioner Faruk Jubril.
“Bodies are still being recovered and taken to the morgue… but what is certain is that the number is well above 100,” he said.
Residents also reported bodies in the streets, as officials from emergency relief agencies worked to pick up the corpses.
“Between my house and the police headquarters along this street, I have counted 16 dead bodies that litter the streets, six of them policemen,” Naziru Muhammad, who lives near state police headquarters, said Saturday morning by phone.
One police source, who did not want to be named, said: “There are heavy casualties around the police headquarters.
“A lot of civilians have been shot by the attackers. It’s difficult to give a death toll, but the number of the dead runs into dozens.”
Source: Yahoo News