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20 Killed In The Recent Bayero University Bomb Blast By The Boko Haram Sect


Attackers armed with bombs and guns opened fire at church services at a university on Sunday, killing around 20 people as worshippers tried to flee, witnesses and officials said. Explosions and gunfire rocked
Bayero University in the northern
city of Kano, with witnesses
reporting that two church
services were targeted as they
were being held on campus. One of the services was being
held outdoors, while the second
was inside a building, but with an
overflow audience outside,
witnesses said. Officials were unable to confirm
casualty figures, but an AFP
correspondent counted six
bullet-riddled bodies near one of
the two sites. At least another dozen bodies
could be seen on a roadside by
the university, but the exact
number was unclear. Musical instruments and half-
eaten meals could be seen at the
site of one of the services. An army spokesman confirmed
the attack but could not provide a
casualty toll. Lieutenant Iweha
Ikedichi told AFP that it appeared
the attackers used bombs and
gunfire in the assault. Witnesses said the attackers
arrived in a car and two
motorcycles, opening fire and
throwing homemade bombs,
causing a stampede. They said
worshippers were gunned down as they sought to flee. “They first attacked the open-air
service outside the faculty of
medicine,” one witness said.
“They threw in explosives and
fired shots, causing a stampede
among worshippers. They now pursued them, shooting them
with guns. … They also attacked
another service at the sporting
complex.” A witness who said he was at the
sporting complex at the time of
the attack reported hearing
gunshots outside while they were
praying. “Then there was pandemonium,”
he said, adding that he later saw
two men outside shooting
indiscriminately. A crowd of people later gathered
at a Kano hospital waiting to hear
news about friends or family. There was no immediate claim of
responsibility, although the attack
was similar to others carried out
by the Islamist group Boko
Haram. Boko Haram claimed January 20
attacks in Kano, the largest city in
Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north,
when coordinated bombings and
shootings left at least 185 dead in
the extremists’ deadliest attack yet. On Thursday, bomb attacks at the
offices of the ThisDay newspaper
in the capital Abuja and the
northern city of Kaduna left at
least nine people dead. The group has previously
targeted churches, including on
Christmas day when at least 44
people were killed in a bombing
at a church outside Abuja. A bombing on Easter Sunday in
Kaduna near a church that killed
at least 41 people was a stark
reminder of the Christmas attacks,
but Boko Haram is not known to
have claimed it. Boko Haram’s increasingly
bloody insurgency has claimed
more than 1,000 lives since
mid-2009. Police and soldiers
have often been the victims of
such attacks, although Christians have been targeted as well. It also claimed responsibility for
an August suicide attack at UN
headquarters in Abuja which
killed at least 25 people. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous
nation and largest oil producer, is
roughly divided between a
mainly Muslim north and a
predominantly Christian south. Boko Haram initially claimed to be
fighting for the creation of an
Islamic state in Nigeria’s north,
but its demands and structure
have become less clear in recent
months. It is believed to have a number of
factions, including those with
political motives as well as a hard-
core Islamist wing. Criminal
groups are also believed to have
carried out violence under the guise of Boko Haram. An attempt at indirect dialogue
between the group and the
government in March collapsed,
with a mediator quitting over
leaks to the media and a
spokesman for the Islamists saying they could not trust the
government. President Goodluck Jonathan,
during a visit Saturday to the
newspaper offices in Abuja hit by
Thursday’s suicide attack, did not
answer directly when asked
whether dialogue was necessary to stop the violence. “You may dialogue, you may not
dialogue depending on the
circumstances,” Jonathan told
reporters, adding: “But we will
exploit every means possible to
bring this to an end.”

Source: Vanguard News

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