News / Africa

Nigeria Imposes Curfew in Northern City After Deadly Bomb Attacks

Smoke rises from the police headquarters as people run for safety in Nigeria's northern city of Kano, January 20, 2012.
Smoke rises from the police headquarters as people run for safety in Nigeria's northern city of Kano, January 20, 2012.

A 24-hour curfew has been imposed in Nigeria's second-largest city, Kano, after a coordinated series of bomb attacks.  Nigerian police say at least seven people have been killed in the bombings that targeted police and government offices in the northern city.

The Islamic extremist group Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

A suicide bomber set off a huge explosion at the office of Kano's Inspector General of Police at about 5:00 p.m. local time Friday.  Within minutes, blasts could be heard at several other locations throughout the city.  Most of the targets appeared to be police stations.

Witnesses described chaos in the streets as people fled in panic, by foot and in vehicles, with sirens blaring and gunshots echoing around them.  Reporter Salusi Radiu of VOA's Hausa Service says he counted more than two dozen blasts over a 90-minute period.

"It was just a rough estimate, but it was estimated almost 30, about 30 exploded at different police stations.  At some places it was just the bomb that exploded, in other places there were gunshots before the bomb," Radiu said.

Officials estimated scores of people were killed, including the suicide bomber and other attackers who died in gun battles with police.  Witnesses said several police officers and a journalist also perished, but Kano's emergency coordinator, Abubakar Jibril, told VOA a full casualty count would be delayed because of a city-wide curfew.

"In fact, nobody can tell you the casualties because they are from different points.  We will have to go to different hospitals around before we gather the number of casualties," Jibril said.

Responsibility for the attacks was claimed by the Muslim extremist sect Boko Haram, which in the Hausa language means, “Christian education is sacrilegious.”  A spokesman for the group telephoned journalists to say the bombings were in retaliation for the arrest of several Boko Haram members in Kano.

Boko Haram was also blamed for a bomb that went off outside a Catholic church near the capital, Abuja, on Christmas Day.  Nearly 40 people were killed in that attack.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan had declared a state of emergency in several northern regions after the Christmas Day attacks, but Kano had been relatively free of violence, and was not included in the emergency area.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid