KANO, Nigeria: Nigeria’s northern city of Kano on Sunday cancelled celebrations to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan after two bomb attacks blamed on the Islamist group Boko Haram.
At least five people were killed and eight were injured in a bomb attack on a Catholic church in a mainly Christian area of the city, the largest in Nigeria’s north, police said.
The attack came shortly after the end of mass at the Saint Charles Catholic church, police spokesman Frank Mba said.
“We suspect an IED (improvised explosive device) that was thrown from across the road” at the church in Kano’s Sabon Gari district, which has previously been targeted by Boko Haram, he added.
Also in Kano yesterday, a woman suicide bomber blew herself up outside a university after police prevented her from carrying out an attack, injuring five officers, Mba said.
“A female suicide bomber was isolated as she was walking towards the gate of the university,” he said, adding that she had hidden the bomb under her “long black hijab”.
“Police on duty isolated her” because she was behaving strangely, and were about to ask a female colleague to frisk the woman when she detonated the bomb, he added.
Police also said they had made safe a car bomb rigged to blow via remote control near a mosque and the home of a prominent Kano sheikh on Saturday.
“The police were alerted by some vigilant residents last night,” said Kano police spokesman Musa Magaji Majia. “Our bomb disposal personnel succeeded in defusing the IED.”
Kano, northern Nigeria’s largest city, has been hit by two attacks blamed on Boko Haram in recent months, including a bomb blast at a public health college which killed at least eight last month.
The worsening violence yesterday prompted Kano’s emir to cancel Eid festivities -- marking the end of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan -- which were due to begin next week. “Given the critical situation we are in, the royal highness (of Kano state, Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi) has suspended all festivities associated with the eminence, including the Durbar and other traditional events that are held during the Eid festival,” an aide to the emir, Aminu Ado Bayero, said.