Death toll rises to 162 in northern Nigeria attack

Abuja: At least 162 people were killed and several others, including Indians injured today when militants launched a series of coordinated bomb attacks targeting police stations and the headquarters of Nigeria`s secret police in the Muslim dominated northern city of Kano.

Rabiu Kwankwaso, the governor of Kano State, imposed a 24-hour curfew after the bodies, including those of several policemen, were found scattered all over the the state capital, Nigeria`s second-largest city, which exploded into violence since yesterday.

According to a media report, a purported spokesman for Islamist group Boko Haram had claimed responsibility for the violence, saying it was in response to Nigerian authorities` refusal to release its members from custody.

Hospital sources said the death toll in the bombings and shootings that rocked Kano surged to 162 even as the country`s police authorities hesitated in giving casualty figure.

A doctor at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital said dead bodies and some wounded people were brought to the hospital. According to him some of the injured persons were foreigners, including Indians who live close to the SSS headquarters.

A hospital worker who craved for anonymity disclosed this stating that dead bodies were piling up in a mortuary at Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital in Kano.

He added that the number of the dead may increase because more bodies are being brought in from different parts of the city.

An official of the Red Cross, Nwakpa O Nwakpa said his aid agency is still collecting the bodies of the dead and injured and taking them to emergency units of some hospitals or mortuaries. .

Later, a spokesman of Islamic fundamentalist group, Boko Haram, Abul Qaqa said his group is responsible for the attacks.

According to him, the government has refused to release members of the group held at various prisons in Kano, hence the attack. The police are yet to come up with an official record and calls made to the spokesman, Olusola Amore were not picked.

Authorities in the oil rich African country are known to downplay death tolls during terror attacks and emergencies.

The governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso has imposed a 24 hour curfew after bodies were found scattered all over the commercial city which doubles as the state capital.

Military men are seen putting up check points at various parts of the city. Authorities said militants, some of whom came as suicide bombers, targeted four police stations; the headquarters of the country?s secret police, state security service (SSS) in Kano state and an immigration office.

A police source said he is yet to confirm the nationality of few dead persons confirmed to be foreigners.

The bombings which numbered up to twenty caused pandemonium in the metropolis and were followed by shoot-outs between the militants and security agencies especially at the eastern Bompai district of the city.

Residents who heard the sound of the bombs with smokes billowing out of the police building scampered for safety.

"Some policemen who survived the attack were seen at the premises of Zone one police station dirtied with dusts from the rubble while the dismembered body of a suicide bomber lay at the premises," a witness told PTI.

Their patrol vehicle was accosted by a suicide bomber who tried to jump on them but was fire at by the officers.

A reporter for a local television, channels, Enenche Akogwu was among those killed in the attacks the station announced.