‘I Saw Two Gunmen Going Into The Mosque, Shooting People’

• 100 Feared Dead

• Three Insurgents Killed

• Hospital Appeals For Blood To Save Lives

• Youths Go On Rampage, Destroy Properties

PATCHES of human flesh were strewn right inside the Kano Central Mosque yesterday, as one suicide bomber forced his way into a row of worshippers and detonated a bomb during prayers at Kofa Kwaru quarters in the metropolis.

Scattered around three spots where the coordinated explosions occurred were mangled bodies of over 100 worshippers who were either killed by the explosions or gunshots that followed from gunmen suspected to be allies of the bombers.

Then, there was confusion, as people ran in all directions for safely, with many of them dead or injured in the ensuing stampede.

Thick smoke billowed in the sky and was sighted even from afar. It was a scene of chaos and confusion, fear and anger, as the people of Kano grappled with the reality of yet another deadly bombing in the city.

The bombs began exploding soon after the Imam opened the prayers. The first went off when one of the suicide bombers sped past worshippers recklessly in a Toyota Spacewagon, attracting attention.

The second one exploded at a different location near a line of worshippers, while the third one exploded right inside the mosque.

A worshipper, Umar Farouk, said he also sighted two gunmen charging into the mosque, shooting sporadically.

“I saw two gunmen going into the mosque shooting people. One of them was even loading a magazine after exhausting the first one,” he said.

Another witness added that apart from the pieces of human bodies on the floor of the mosque, he also spotted human flesh glued to the high-rising frames of the mosque.

“Despite the height of the overhead covering of the mosque, I saw patches of blood and human flesh glued to the frames,” he stated.

Another eyewitness said he saw many people screaming in the pool of their blood.

Yet another account said immediately after the detonation of one of the bombs in a suicide bomber’s car, other gunmen started shooting at people indiscriminately, an action that geared onlookers to action, leading to the overpowering of two of the gunmen who were allegedly killed before the arrival of security agents.

The Guardian gathered that the gunmen, suspected to be members of the Boko Haram insurgents, went on rampage, shooting sporadically at the crowd of worshippers for about 30 minutes, according to sources, before escaping the scene in black Jeep.

One Nura, who narrowly escaped the blasts, told The Guardian that people reacted angrily to the gunmen, ostensibly in answer to the recent call by the Emir of Kano a few days ago on the people to stand up and start protecting themselves against the insurgents.

Red Cross ambulances, police vans, KAROTA vehicles, tricycles and other private vehicles were busy carrying victims, dead and alive, to Muhammed Abdullahi Wase Hospital.

Efforts to get detailed information from Police and Joint Task Force (JTF) proved abortive. As at the time of filing this report, the exact number of casualties could not be ascertained.

At the Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital where many of the victims were taken, security men kept watch and barred people from going inside the premises.

It was gathered that Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso, the Police Commissioner and spokesperson of the command were not in town.

Soon after the blasts, some youths took over the streets of Sabon Gari, destroying property, until security agents arrived and took control of the situation and calm returned to the city.

Yesterday’s blast came exactly one week after a suicide bomber rammed into security operatives stationed within the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Mega Filling Station along Maiduguri road in Hotoro area of the city, killing himself and six others, including three security men.

The Kano Central Mosque, located close to the emir’s palace, was built more than 500 years ago and plays host to the emir, traditional rulers, government officials, notable personality and hundreds of residents during the traditional Friday prayers.

Many believe the attack must have been targeted at the emir in reaction to his statement against the sect.

The emir and former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor recently advocated self-defense against the terrorists, citing portions in the Holy Quran and reminded Muslims that “whoever die while defending his territory, protecting his property and children are considered myths.”

Sanusi posited that the fight against the terrorists should not be left in the hands of the security operatives alone, insisting that unless citizens are prepared to make a sacrifice, the entire country risks the devastating consequences.

Meanwhile, the Chief Medical Director of Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital, Dr. Mansur Nagoda has appealed for blood donation from the public to save the lives of the victims.

Scores of victims of the attack were taken to the state-owned specialist hospital for treatment.

Nagoda solicited the public’s assistance while speaking with our correspondent on phone over the incident.

He said the hospital is currently short of required blood to meet the urgent needs of the victims in the hospital.

However, he preferred to keep mute on the number of casualties.

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