One day after the attacks in Nigeria’s second largest city Kano, the death toll has risen to over a 100 people. Officials say it is the deadliest coordinated strike by Islamist sect Boko Haram to date.
“Definitely more than 100 have been killed,”said an anonymous source. “There were bombs and then gunmen were attacking police and police came back with attacks.” Hospital staff said there were still bodies arriving at morgues in Kano.
Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for the attack. The sect has killed hundreds in the north of Africa’s most populous nation in the last year. Nigeria imposed a 24-hour curfew in Kano after the coordinated bombings of eight government sites.
The attacks targeted several police stations, barracks and the building housing the assistant inspector general of police in Kano. Other sites struck included a passport office, state security headquarters and the immigration office, police said.
Terrified residents barricaded themselves in their homes, said the Rev. Murtala Mati. “The government is really trying but we are afraid … we are all scared,” he said.
During the attack, assailants entered a police station, freed detainees and bombed it, authorities said. They later canvassed the area in a car led by motorcycles, spraying targets with gunfire.
Islamist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the blast in a phone call to the Daily Trust, according to journalists at the newspaper.
In December, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in several northern states. The declaration followed a series of Christmas Day attacks on Christian churches blamed on the group. The region has been wracked by religious violence in recent weeks, including a spate of attacks in early January that killed at least 25 Christians.
Boko Haram has been blamed for months of widespread bloodshed, with churches and police stations among the targets.