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KANO, Nigeria: A wave of attacks by suspected Boko Haram Islamists in northeastern Nigeria has killed at least 23 people and destroyed several buildings, a hospital official and residents said yesterday.
A nurse at the Potiskum general hospital spoke of 20 bodies being brought to the morgue, while residents said three bodies were buried by their families following explosions and shootings in the restive city on Thursday.
“We now have a total of 20 bodies brought in yesterday from the attacks of the previous night. Initially, 11 bodies were brought and nine more were received later,” a nurse who asked not to be named said.
“Most of them have gunshot wounds but some had their throat slit. The bodies included that of a police sergeant and a prison warder,” he said.
Residents said the toll could be higher as some relations had taken some bodies from the streets for burial.
“I participated in the burial of three residents who were killed in the attacks. I was at their separate burials yesterday. These are the ones I know. There could be several others,” resident Hamisu Nababa said.
Explosions and gunfire shook the northeastern city on Thursday, with residents reporting that several schools and a government building were burnt.
A military source said some buildings had been destroyed by homemade bombs and a security checkpoint was attacked in the latest deadly incident to hit the city, a Boko Haram hotbed.
Police said they were seeking to restore calm in Potiskum and clear unexploded bombs on Friday.
Soldiers have often responded brutally to attacks in northeastern Nigeria and have been accused of killing civilians and burning homes in the past.
It was, however, not clear if troops were the cause of any of the destruction in Potiskum, and residents spoke of attackers throwing homemade bombs at houses.
In Maiduguri, also in the northeast and the base of the Islamists, petrol bombs exploded, leading to fire that burned 11 roadside shops, the military said in a statement. AFP