150 killed in attacks in Northern Nigeria state: official

January 22, 2012 11:00 am 

KANO, Nigeria Jan. 22 — Officials of northern Nigeria's Kano State government said on Saturday that about 150 persons lost their lives in Friday's terrorist attacks which rocked the state capital of Kano.

State Commissioner of Information Faruk Umar told Xinhua that the death toll was arrived at after early morning mopping up operations by rescue and aid agencies.

However, a source with the Red Cross told Xinhua on Saturday that the death toll from Friday's coordinated attacks in Kano has risen to 120.

According to the Red Cross official, the figure was recorded from the affected areas, noting that 52 persons were injured. State secretary for the organization Musa Abdulahi said they picked corpses around the affected areas.

The northwest coordinator for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) responsible for disaster and emergency management in Nigeria Musa said that it is working with some government agencies to confirm the actual casualty figure.

The attacks are believed to be the work of members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect.

A Xinhua reporter in the restive city of Kano said the dead bodies have been deposited at both the Murtala Muhammed Hospital and Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, adding that most of the injured are also being treated at the two hospitals.

The state government also directed all hospitals in the state to treat all victims of Friday's Boko Haram attacks free and give them maximum medical attention.

In a statement the government condoled with the families of those who lost their lives and sympathized with those who sustained injuries while assuring that security agencies would continue to do their best to safeguard the lives and property of the residents of the state.

The statement said that when the security situation improved the 24-hour curfew imposed on the state would be relaxed or completely lifted.

President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday conveyed his condolences on behalf of the federal government to the families, friends, associates and relatives of all those who lost their lives

The Nigerian leader also condoled with the management and staff of the Channels Television on the death of reporter Enenche Akogwu.

The president also reassured the international community that the federal government would bring those involved in the act to justice.

Senate President David Mark on Saturday in Abuja reiterated his call on members of the Boko Haram sect to stop their dastardly acts in the interest of the nation.

In a statement issued by his office, Mark condemned the bomb blasts that rocked Kano, describing the perpetrators as ungodly.

He urged the security agencies not to leave any stone unturned in unraveling those behind the dastardly acts.

The Senate President described the late Akogwu as a patriotic Nigerian and resourceful reporter who was dedicated to his duties.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Nigerian troops have been deployed to major streets in northern Kano to enhance security following the multiple explosions in the city on Friday.

Armed soldiers had also been deployed to some strategic public and private buildings in the metropolis to prevent possible attacks. The soldiers were on alert in their vehicles patrolling the major streets of the metropolis in readiness for any eventuality.

A Xinhua reporter in the state said security had also been tightened around the government House area as motorists coming to the area were being subjected to thorough checks.

All the major roads in Kano have been deserted while residents have remained indoors in compliance with the curfew, he added.

Spokesperson for the Boko Haram troops Abul Qaqa told reporters that the attacks were in response to the refusal of the Kano state government to release some fellow terrorists arrested in the state.

He said they were forced to resort to the attacks after an open letter sent in 2011 to prominent people in the state were ignored. (PNA/Xinhua)

LDV/jsd

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