Coordinated attacks kill 162 in Nigeria | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 22, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 22, 2012

Coordinated attacks kill 162 in Nigeria

Coordinated bomb attacks targeting security forces and gun battles have killed at least 162 people in Nigeria's second-largest city of Kano, with bodies littering the streets yesterday.
A curfew was imposed on Kano in Nigeria's mainly Muslim north after it exploded into violence on Friday evening, with eight police and immigration offices or residences targeted.
The main newspaper in the north said that a purported spokesman for Islamist group Boko Haram had claimed responsibility for the violence, saying it was in response to authorities' refusal to release their members from custody.
Scores of such attacks in Nigeria's north have been blamed on Boko Haram.
Some 20 huge blasts could be heard in the city as a suicide bomber attacked a regional police office and a car bomb rocked the outside of 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.
Gunshots rang out in several areas, and a local television journalist was among those shot dead as he covered the unrest.
An AFP correspondent counted at least 80 bodies in the morgue at Kano's main hospital, many of them with gunshot wounds. Around 100 people waited outside the morgue to collect their relatives' remains.
Residents also reported bodies in the streets, as officials from the Red Cross and the National Emergency Management Agency were working to collect corpses and deliver them to morgues.
A police source on condition of anonymity said dozens were killed.
President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency on December 31 in parts of four states hard hit by attacks blamed on Boko Haram.
But the limitations of the Nigerian authorities were recently highlighted when the alleged mastermind of a Christmas Day attack outside a church that killed 44 people escaped police custody in suspicious circumstances.
Attacks specifically targeting Christians have also given rise to fears of a wider religious conflict in the country, with Christian leaders warning they would defend themselves. Some have even evoked the possibility of civil war.
However, attacks blamed on Boko Haram have included a wide range of targets, including Muslims.

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