Suicide attacks in Nigerian city mar Eid

July 29, 2014 - 1:53:51 am

KATSINA, Nigeria: Two blasts by female suicide bombers killed three people and injured 13 in Nigeria’s Kano city yesterday, bringing the number of attacks this week in the area to five and overshadowing festivities marking the end of Ramadan.

The violence blamed on Boko Haram Islamists marred what was supposed to be a festive day in Kano, a city of more than six million people and the largest in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north.

Kano typically celebrates the end of Islam’s holy month with a lavish parade on horseback led by the local emir.

But those plans were scrapped late Sunday following a bombing at a church that killed five people and an attempted suicide attack by a woman at a university that was stopped by police but left five wounded.

Yesterday, a woman detonated low-calibre explosives packed to her torso at a petrol station in the Hotoro area on the outskirts of the city, targeting women who had lined up to buy kerosene, Kano police spokesman Musa Magaji Majia told AFP.

The queue was long, said area vendor Habibu Ali, because the widely-used cooking gas is often in short supply and when a new shipment comes in women typically rush to their local


Majia said 10 victims were rushed to the hospital after the blast that went off at roughly 10:30am (0930 GMT) and that three had died.

Hotoro area resident Shehu Mudi said he saw burning jerry cans and ambulances carting away victims minutes after

the blast.

Roughly three hours after the petrol station blast another female bomber approached the Trade Fair Complex in a key commercial district, Kano state police chief Aderele Shinaba

told AFP.

She was stopped at the gate and blew herself up, he added.

“It was the same modus operandi,” Shinaba said. “Six people were injured, including two (police) officers.”

The target holds symbolic importance in Kano, lying just next to the brand new Ado Bayero Shopping Centre, which opened in March to huge public excitement.

The launch of a modern shopping complex, including the only northern Nigeria outlet of the South African retailer Shoprite, was seen as a sign that the restive city was still attractive to investors, despite the waves of Islamist violence.

While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, Boko Haram, the extremist group blamed for killing more than 10,000 people in Nigeria since 2009, was likely to be held responsible for the latest bloodshed.

Double bombings on Sunday and yesterday as well as an attack at a bus station on Thursday that killed at least four people underscored Boko Haram’s commitment to striking Kano after attacks in the city had declined earlier this year.