By Jim Kouri
About 150 Nigerians — men, women and children — were mortally wounded and dozens of others were wounded in a suspected radical Islamist terror attack in northern Nigeria ‘s Kano State.
State Commissioner of Information Faruk Umar told local news agencies yesterday that the death toll was arrived at after early morning mopping up operations by rescue and aid agencies, according to an Israeli counterterrorism source.
According to a Red Cross official at the scene of the attack, the figure was recorded from the affected areas, noting that 52 persons were injured. State secretary for the organization Musa Abdulahi said they picked up corpses around the affected areas.
The northwest coordinator for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) responsible for disaster and emergency management in Nigeria is working with Nigerian government agencies to confirm the actual casualty figure.
The attacks are suspected of being perpetrated by members of the dreaded Boko Haram terrorist group, reportedly affiliated with al-Qaeda.
The Nigerian government ordered all hospitals in Kano state to treat all victims of Friday’s Boko Haram attacks free of charge and they should be given maximum medical attention no matter what the cost.
In a statement the government extended its condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and sympathized with those who sustained injuries while assuring that security agencies would continue to do their best to safeguard the lives and property of the residents of the state.
The statement said that when the security situation improved the 24-hour curfew imposed on the state would be relaxed or completely lifted.
President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday conveyed his condolences on behalf of the federal government to the families, friends, associates and relatives of all those who lost their lives.
The Nigerian leader also reassured the international community that the federal government would bring those involved in this latest terrorist act to justice.
Senate President David Mark on Saturday in Abuja reiterated his call on members of the Boko Haram sect to stop their “dastardly acts in the interest of the nation.”
He urged the security agencies “not to leave any stone unturned in unraveling those behind the dastardly acts.”
Nigerian soldiers had also been deployed to some strategic public and private buildings in and around Kano to prevent possible attacks. The soldiers were on alert in their vehicles patrolling the major streets of the city in readiness for any additional attacks.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the deadly multiple attacks in northern Nigeria and called for a “swift and transparent” probe.
A statement issued by Ban’s spokesman said the secretary-general “condemns in the strongest terms” the series of attacks in Kano state.
“The secretary-general is appalled at the frequency and intensity of recent attacks in Nigeria, which demonstrate a wanton and unacceptable disregard for human life,” the statement said.