Tag Archives: Nigeria

Nigeria – at least four dead in Kano market bombing

BBC

Nigeria violence: Two suicide attacks near busy Kano market

File photo: Bomb experts and military personnel investigate the site of an explosion at a police station in Kano, 15 November 2015Kano has experienced several bomb blasts this year

At least four people have been killed and seven injured in a double attack by female suicide bombers near a market in Kano, northern Nigeria, police say.

One blast hit a vehicle loading area at the Kantin Kwari textile market. Boko Haram militants are suspected of being behind the attacks.

Last month more than 100 people died in a gun and bomb attack during prayers at one of the biggest mosques in Kano.

Some 2,000 have died in attacks blamed on the Islamists so far this year.

AFP news agency quoted state police commissioner Adenrele Shinaba as saying the attacks had been carried out by “two young girls in hijab [Muslim headscarves]”.

“They came by the market and asked to be directed to a public convenience. The bombs detonated, killing them and four others,” he said.

Abdullahi Abubakar, secretary of the market traders’ syndicate, told the agency that the first bomber blew herself up near toilets at about 14:30 local time (13:30 GMT). The second attack took place shortly afterwards near another toilet block, he added.

Female suicide bombers have featured in previous Boko Haram attacks.

Trader Nura Sadiq told AFP: “I heard a huge sound coming from the back of my shop along Unity Road. I just closed the shop and tried to leave because it’s not safe.”

Kantin Kwari is the biggest textile market in Kano, where people from neighbouring states and other parts of the country come for transactions, the BBC’s Habiba Adamu reports from the capital Abuja.

The market is always jam-packed with people, our correspondent adds.

On 28 November, more than 100 people were killed in an attack on the Central Mosque in Kano.

No group said it had carried out the attack but officials said it bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram.

The Sunni Islamist group has been waging an insurgency in Nigeria since 2009.

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Nigeria – Boko Haram attacks Maiduguri and Damaturu

BBC

Boko Haram militants Boko Haram began its insurgency to create an Islamic state five years ago

Suspected Boko Haram militants have struck in two state capitals in north-east Nigeria, with suicide attacks by female bombers in Maiduguri and a raid on a police base in Damaturu.

At least five people were killed in the twin blasts at a crowded market in Maiduguri, police said.

In Damaturu, explosions and gunfire were heard as militants rampaged through the city, residents said.

Boko Haram has vowed to create an Islamic state in areas it controls.

The blasts at Monday market in Maiduguri, the state capital of Borno, were caused by “two girls”, witness Mallam Muhammadu told Associated Press (AP) news agency.

At least 32 people were wounded in the explosions, a source at the local hospital told the BBC Hausa service.

Confirming the attacks, police spokesman Gideon Jibrin told the AFP news agency that five people had been killed, and not 10 as initially thought.

Suicide attacks by two female bombers at the same market on 25 November killed 78 people.

A bombing at a market in  Maiduguri in JUly 2014Boko Haram has repeatedly targeted Maiduguri, its former headquarters
Medical officers attend to a man injured following double female suicide bomb attacks that killed nearly 80 people in Maiduguri, north-eastern Nigeria on 25 November 2014 Twin blasts in the city on 25 November caused many casualties, with hospital staff overstretched
Sceengrab taken on 9 November 2014 from a new Boko Haram video obtained by AFP shows a militant parading with a tank in an unidentified town in north-eastern NigeriaBoko Haram has taken control of a series of towns and villages in north-east Nigeria in recent months

Maiduguri was the headquarters of Boko Haram, until it was driven out of the city earlier this year by the security forces and vigilante groups.

‘Chaos all over town’

We have left our homes. We are now in the bush” Umar Sada Damaturu resident

The assault on Damaturu, the capital of neighbouring Yobe state, began shortly after 05:00 local time (04:00 GMT), forcing most residents to stay indoors or to flee the city.

The militants set fire to a riot police base, and attacked a primary school and the city’s university.

A university student told BBC Focus on Africa he had been woken by the sound of explosions and had seen a large number of militants wearing military uniforms moving into the city.

Map of Nigeria, showing Damaturu and Maiduguri

He said he and some other residents had since fled to the surrounding countryside.

Another resident told the BBC that schools and businesses were shut, and most people were staying at home.

Boko Haram militants had stormed an empty primary school, and were firing shots from there, he said.

“We have left our homes. We are now in the bush. We don’t know what’s going to happen,” resident Umar Sada told AFP.

A government official, who asked not to be identified, said: “It’s chaos all over the town. All I can hear is explosions and gunfire from my house.

“I couldn’t go out for morning prayers because this started before dawn and I’m afraid to leave in case I get caught up in it.”

Boko Haram has taken control of a series of towns and villages in north-east Nigeria in recent months.

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Who are Boko Haram?

  • Founded in 2002
  • Initially focused on opposing Western education – Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language
  • Launched military operations in 2009 to create Islamic state
  • Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria – also attacked police and UN headquarters in capital, Abuja
  • Some three million people affected
  • Declared terrorist group by US in 2013
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The authorities have struggled to defeat the militant group, which has been waging an insurgency since 2009.

New York-based Human Rights Watch says Boko Haram has killed more than 2,000 civilians this year.

On Friday, more than 100 people were killed in a gun and bomb attack on a mosque in the city of Kano.

The identity of the attackers has not been confirmed but Boko Haram has been widely blamed.

Damaturu has been targeted by Boko Haram a number of times before.

Obasanjo calls on the young to fight for Nigeria’s future

Punch

Fight for Nigeria’s survival, Obasanjo tells youths

Former  President Olusegun Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has told youths to take up the responsibility and effect the needed change in Nigeria instead of blaming the previous generations for the nation’s decay.

The former President said this at the 100th-year anniversary of Ijero Baptist Church in Lagos on Sunday.

Obasanjo said the generation before him fought for Nigeria’s independence while his generation fought for Nigeria’s unity during the civil war.

He said the subsequent generation also fought for democracy.

Obasanjo, therefore, said it was time for the next generation to make its own contribution to national development instead of complaining.

He said, “Recently, a son of my friend looked at everything around him and got angry and went to meet his dad who is my age mate. He told his father that our generation is a lost one. The father did not pay him any attention so he came to meet me.

“He told me what he told his father and justified it by telling me that he went to the university and graduated but got no job. So, our generation has failed him. So I told him that it is normal because that was how we used to blame the generation before us.

“But I told him that the generation before mine was the one that fought for our independence. Whichever way we want to criticise them, they gave us independence. Then my generation which you say is not good, fought the civil war. We fought for the unity of Nigeria and if we did not do so, you probably would need a visa to travel to Kano or Port Harcourt. Not only that but that generation also established the foundation of democracy.

“So what do you claim your generation has achieved? It is part of it. We have seen what successive leaders of each generation have done, what can we say about you? What can we say about your generation?”

Obasanjo, who noted that he attended the Ijero Baptist Church for the first time in 1946, said that the fact that the church was still standing after 100 years was worth celebrating.

The minister in charge, Rev. Olayemi Aderibigbe, who also inaugurated the Ijero Baptist Church History Book, urged youths to continue to build on the good which the church had done over the years so as to be able to give a lasting legacy to the next generation.

Copyright PUNCH.

Nigeria – over 100 feared dead after Kanu moque attack

BBC

More than 100 people died in an attack on a Nigerian mosque on Friday, local government and hospital officials say.

The president of Nigeria has vowed “to leave no stone unturned” in tracking down the perpetrators of the gun and bomb attack during Friday’s prayers in the northern city of Kano.

Goodluck Jonathan urged the nation “to confront the common enemy”.

No-one has so far claimed the attack but officials say it bears the hallmarks of Boko Haram militant group.

Kano’s Central Mosque, where the attack took place, is where the influential Muslim leader, the emir of Kano, usually leads prayers.

Emir Muhammed Sanusi had recently called for people to arm themselves against Boko Haram, and there have been suggestions that the attack was in response to that call.

However, on Saturday the emir dismissed the claims, saying it must have taken at least two months to plan the attack. He made the comments during a visit to the mosque.

Boko Haram, a Sunni Islamist group, has been waging an insurgency in Nigeria since 2009 and has killed more than 2,000 people this year, human rights groups say.

At the scene: Will Ross, Nigeria correspondent
It is a scene of absolute devastation inside the oldest mosque in Kano.

The attack has caused a lot of anger in the city.

Out on the streets there is still tension. There are police moving around and occasionally people running helter-skelter not knowing quite what is going on. It is a city on edge.

To give an idea of the level of anger – three of the gunmen were actually overpowered when they were shooting worshippers outside the mosque and they were beaten and burnt to death on the spot.

Common enemy’
President Jonathan ordered the country’s security services “to launch a full-scale investigation and to leave no stone unturned until all agents of terror undermining the right of every citizen to life and dignity are tracked down and brought to justice”.

A number of the injured are being treated at Kano’s hospital

Eyewitnesses spoke of three bomb explosions and a gunfight near the mosque
He said Nigerians should “remain united to confront the common enemy”.

The government, he said, would “continue to take every step to put an end to the reprehensible acts of all groups and persons involved in acts of terrorism”.

Three bomb explosions were reported in and around the mosque. The attackers also shot at worshippers.

“They started shooting randomly at worshippers” – Muhammad Bello was near the mosque when the explosions began
Some reports say the first bomb was hidden in a car which was driven straight into the worshippers.

One eyewitness told the BBC’s Focus on Africa: “The imam was about to start prayer when he saw somebody in a car trying to force himself into the mosque. But when people stopped him, he detonated the explosions. People started running helter-skelter.”

Several men then opened fire on the crowd, killing more people. Three of the gunmen were then killed by the crowd, our correspondent says.

Most victims were men or boys with blast injuries and severe burns.

Boko Haram has stepped up attacks against civilian targets since the Nigerian military launched an offensive last year.

The group carries out almost daily attacks mostly in the north-east of the country.

The militants were also behind the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok in Borno state this year, an act that sparked international outrage.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has declared an Islamic state in the north-east
Who are Boko Haram?
Founded in 2002
Initially focused on opposing Western education – Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language
Launched military operations in 2009 to create Islamic state
Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria – also attacked police and UN headquarters in capital, Abuja
Some three million people affected
Declared terrorist group by US in 2013

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Nigerian president condemns latest Boko Haram killings

BBC

Nigeria unrest: President Jonathan condemns mosque attack

The president of Nigeria has vowed “to leave no stone unturned” in tracking down the perpetrators of a mosque attack that killed at least 81 people.

Goodluck Jonathan urged the nation “to confront the common enemy” after the gun and bomb attack during Friday’s prayers in the northern city of Kano.

Hundreds of people were injured in an attack which officials say bears the hallmarks of Boko Haram militant group.

No-one has so far said that they carried out Friday’s assault.

Kano’s Central Mosque, where the attack took place, is where the influential Muslim leader, the emir of Kano, usually leads prayers.

He recently called for people to arm themselves against Boko Haram, so it is possible that this attack was in response to that call, says the BBC’s Will Ross in Abuja.

Boko Haram, a Sunni Islamist group, has been waging an insurgency in Nigeria since 2009 and has killed more than 2,000 people this year, human rights groups say.

‘Helter-skelter’

President Jonathan ordered the country’s security services “to launch a full-scale investigation and to leave no stone unturned until all agents of terror undermining the right of every citizen to life and dignity are tracked down and brought to justice”.

People assist an injured man in Kano. Photo: 28 November 2014A number of the injured are being treated at Kano’s hospital
Police officers at the scene of the attack in KanoEyewitnesses spoke of three bomb explosions and a gunfight near the mosque

He said Nigerians should “remain united to confront the common enemy”.

The government, he said, would “continue to take every step to put an end to the reprehensible acts of all groups and persons involved in acts of terrorism”.

Reuters news agency counted 81 bodies in two separate mortuaries following the attack on the Central Mosque.

An AFP reporter at counted 92 bodies at the Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital mortuary alone. Most victims were men or boys with blast injuries and severe burns.

As BBC’s Tomi Oladipo reports, the gunmen opened fire on people as they tried to escape

Three bomb explosions were reported in and around the mosque. The attackers also shot at worshippers.

Some reports say the first bomb was hidden in a car which was driven straight into the worshippers.

One eyewitness told the BBC’s Focus on Africa: “The imam was about to start prayer when he saw somebody in a car trying to force himself into the mosque. But when people stopped him, he detonated the explosions. People started running helter-skelter.”

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Several men then opened fire on the crowd, killing more people. Three of the gunmen were caught and killed on the spot, the BBC’s Will Ross reports.

BBC Hausa editor Mansur Liman said one witness at a local hospital had described the scenes there as being the most horrible he had ever seen.

Boko Haram has stepped up attacks against civilian targets since the Nigerian military launched an offensive last year.

The group carries out almost daily attacks mostly in the north-east of the country. Also on Friday, the security forces said they had foiled an attempt to attack worshippers in the north-eastern city of Maiduguri, defusing six bombs planted in a mosque and a nearby market.

The militants were also behind the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok in Borno state this year, an act that sparked international outrage.

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Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau with fighters. 31 October 2014Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has declared an Islamic state in the north-east

Who are Boko Haram?

  • Founded in 2002
  • Initially focused on opposing Western education – Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language
  • Launched military operations in 2009 to create Islamic state
  • Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria – also attacked police and UN headquarters in capital, Abuja
  • Some three million people affected
  • Declared terrorist group by US in 2013

Nigeria – bombs and gunfire at Kano mosque

Reuters

Bombs, gunfire at crowded central mosque in northern Nigeria’s Kano

KANO, Nigeria Fri Nov 28, 2014  (Reuters) – Gunmen set off three bombs and fired on worshippers at the central mosque of north Nigeria’s biggest city Kano for Friday prayers, witnesses said, an attack that bore the hallmarks of Islamist Boko Haram militants.

It was not immediately possible to determine a reliable death toll in the chaotic aftermath of the attack but the area had been densely packed with worshippers. A police spokesman in Kano declined to make any immediate comment.

“These people have bombed the mosque. I am face to face with people screaming,” said Chijjani Usman, a local reporter who had gone to the mosque in the old city for prayers himself.

The mosque is adjacent to the palace of the emir of Kano, the second highest Islamic authority in Africa’s most populous country, although the emir himself, former central bank governor Lamido Sanusi, was not present.

“Three bombs were planted in the courtyard to the mosque and they went off simultaneously,” a security source who declined to be named said.

A staff member at the palace who also witnessed the attack said: “After multiple explosions, they also opened fire. I cannot tell you the casualties because we all ran away.”

Angry youths blocked the mosque’s gates to police, who had to disperse them with tear gas to gain entry.

No one quickly claimed responsibility but suspicion quickly fell on Boko Haram, a Sunni jihadist movement whose name means “Western education is forbidden”. Since 2009 it has fought to revive a medieval Islamic caliphate under strict sharia law.

Boko Haram regards the traditional Islamic religious authorities in Nigeria with disdain, considering them a corrupt, self-serving elite that is too close to the secular government.

The insurgents have killed thousands in gun and bomb attacks on churches, schools, police stations, military and government buildings, and even mosques that do not share their radical Islamist ideology.

A MILLION DISPLACED

The insurgency has displaced over one million people during its campaign focused on Nigeria’s northeast, the Red Cross told reporters on Friday, an increase on a September U.N. refugee agency estimate of 700,000.

Islamic leaders sometimes shy away from direct criticism of Boko Haram for fear of reprisals. But Sanusi, angered by atrocities such as the kidnapping of 200 schoolgirls from the village of Chibok in April, has been increasingly vocal.

He was quoted in the local press as calling on Nigerians this month to defend themselves against Boko Haram. During a broadcast recitation of the Koran he was reported to have said:

“These people, when they attack towns, they kill boys and enslave girls. People must stand resolute … They should acquire what they can to defend themselves. People must not wait for soldiers to protect them.”

Persisting insecurity is dogging President Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign for re-election to a second term in February 2015. He has asked parliament for approval to extend an 18-month-old state of emergency in the northeast.

Friday’s attack came a day after a roadside bomb tore through a bus station near a busy junction in the northeast, killing 40 people including five soldiers.

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Cameroon fights to stop youths joined Nigerian Boko Haram

Nation (Kenya)

Cameroon battles to keep youths out of Boko Haram

Some 450 young locals from the town of Kolofata alone joined Boko Haram over the course of two months

A screen grab taken on July 13, 2014 from a video released by the Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram and obtained by AFP shows the leader of the Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau (centre).

A screen grab taken on July 13, 2014 from a video released by the Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram and obtained by AFP shows the leader of the Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau (centre). FILE PHOTO | AFP  AFP

As the West fights to keep its youth from the grip of jihadists, Cameroon’s Muslim leaders are struggling to respond to a recruitment drive by Nigeria’s deadly Boko Haram.

In this remote northeast corner of Cameroon, some 450 young locals from the town of Kolofata alone joined up over the course of two months, deputy Prime Minister Amadou Ali said in August.

“No to Boko Haram,” say signs posted across the region as Muslim authorities seek to keep a closer eye on preaching and teaching in mosques and religious schools.

“We’re raising awareness in our mosques through Friday prayers,” says Imam Malloum Baba while chatting with residents in Kourgui, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the border with Nigeria.

“We’re urging people to try to understand true Islam and to not fall into the trap set by these terrorists,” he added.

The Islamist fighters of Boko Haram sowing terror in northern Nigeria have stepped up their increasingly sophisticated attacks in Cameroon in their bid to establish an Islamic state.

THE PROBLEM OF IGNORANCE

“Boko Haram claims to preach Islam, but they don’t know anything about Islam,” said Baba, the Muslim leader. “The problem here is ignorance. People don’t necessarily understand our message fully.”

Yet communicating is just one obstacle in the region, which has a whopping 65 per cent poverty rate.

There are few opportunities in life here for young people with little or no schooling apart from farming a plot of land that provides a meagre living, a local chief known as a “lamido” said on condition of anonymity.

“People are stuck in the system because they didn’t go to school and can’t get a job. That’s the crowd we need to pay attention to,” said the leader, a well-known member of north Cameroon’s Muslim intellectual elite.

Two months ago, shopkeeper Amadou Bachirou, who lives in the far northern town of Maroua, saw his childhood friend join Boko Haram.

“He was very poor and he heard Boko Haram paid well. He told me, ‘If you want, we can go together.’ But I can’t go. I know he is now sending money to his family,” Bachirou told AFP.

HIRING BONUS

Boko Haram pays a “hiring bonus” of up to 500,000 Francs CFA (about 760 euros) and a monthly salary of 100,000 Francs CFA (about 150 euros), according to intelligence sources.

This amounts to a fortune for young people who, if lucky enough to have an income, don’t make more than 60 euros per month.

Muslim leaders on the front line of this struggle for young people’s allegiance face dire choices as Boko Haram attacks multiply.

“At first we encouraged imams to directly denounce Boko Haram in their sermons, but many preachers and teachers had their throats slit, so we’ve had to come back to a more general message about peace and tolerance to keep them safe,” a Maroua religious leader said.

He added: “These barbarians have nothing to do with our tolerant Islam. Many people fall into the trap of the simplistic idea that religious school is a gateway to Boko Haram.”

National leaders too insist that Islam in Cameroon is moderate and tolerant.

“Imams even go to churches for ecumenical prayers, that’s Islam in Cameroon,” said government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary. “It’s our society’s model and we aren’t ready to give it up for anything.”

It seems there are plenty in Cameroon who would agree, with villagers gathering intelligence and even confronting Boko Haram themselves.

“There have been some cases where guys from Boko Haram were attacked with machetes,” by locals, an unnamed Cameroonian military officer told AFP.