Sunday, January 29, 2012

Gunmen attack police station in Kano (Sunday, January 30th)

This is the fifth attack on Kano in 10 days

Vanguard (AFP)
29 January 2012

Kano – (AFP) Gunmen attacked a police station on Sunday in Nigeria’s flashpoint city of Kano sparking a shootout with police, witnesses and police said.

The attack followed the January 20 assault by the Islamist group Boko Haram that killed at least 185 people in the city — and after a string of recent threats of more violence from the group.

“A large number of gunmen stormed the area at prayer time and opened fire on the police station,” local resident Kabiru Maikatako told AFP.

“The police fired back and a shootout has been going on for the past 30 minutes,” he added.

“I am now trapped in my (timber) shed. It is shooting all around and the whole area has been deserted. Only the police and the attackers are shooting at each other.”

Kano state police commissionner Ibrahim Idriss confirmed the attack.

“I am aware of the attack on the Naibawa police station,” he said referring to a district in Kano. “I am yet to get details.”

Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the coordinated gun and bomb attacks in Kano on January 20 — the group’s deadliest ever assault — which mainly targetted police.

In several recent messages, the group has vowed to strike again.

Most recently, in leaflets distributed around Kano overnight, it warned residents that it would continue to target the city’s security services leaflets.

The leaflets, which could not be independently verified as authentic, said that Boko Haram tried to avoid harming civilians.

According to the text, the group targetted only government officials, security personnel and those who support a group urging Christians to defend themselves against Islamist attacks.

Sunday’s shootout took place in the Naibawa motor park, a major bus terminal on the outskirts of the city, not far from where a German engineer was kidnapped by gunmen on Thursday.

“We were saying our evening prayers when shooting broke out around the police station,” said local resident Sule Adamu.

“We all dispersed without finishing our prayer and moved indoors while passengers who had left the motor park scampered for safety,” he added.

Earlier Sunday, security forces had deployed heavily around Kano guarding churches and frisking worshippers as they arrived to pray.

Some city residents told AFP they had decided to avoid church fearing that Boko Haram would deliver on its threat to carry out fresh attacks.

Abbas Saleh, a taxi driver said he was preparing for evening prayers “when gunshots filled the air with gunmen attacking the police station and shouting Allahu Akbar.”

“I abandoned what I was doing and hurried into a nearby shop. Where I am I can hear gunshots. I don’t know whether anybody has been killed or injured,” he said.

Boko Haram has been blamed for the deaths of more than 900 people in roughly 160 separate attacks since July 2009. It has claimed attacks that have killed more than 200 people since the start of 2012.

No comments:

Post a Comment