Escalation as suicide attacks hit Sokoto, historic seat of Islam in Nigeria; Boko Haram suspected
AFP: Suicide bombings at two police stations Monday (July 30, 2012) killed at least two (persons) in the northwestern Nigerian city of Sokoto, the historic seat of Islam in the country, officials and residents said.
Separately, police guarding a home belonging to Vice President Namadi Sambo came under fire from gunmen
in the northern city of Zaria, leaving one civilian dead. No one lives at the house, which is undergoing repairs from damage inflicted in post-election riots last year.
Boko Haram Islamists, responsible for scores of deadly gun and bomb attacks in recent months, are suspected of having hideouts in Sokoto, but the group has rarely struck within the city.
A Red Cross official said the explosions at the Yan Marina police station in the city centre and the Unguwar Rogo station were both caused by suicide bombers.
“A policeman and woman were killed in the bombings. Thirty people were injured, mostly around the market in the Yan Marina neighbourhood,” said the official who requested anonymity.
Yan Marina resident Usman Bube said the area was “engulfed in flames”.
“There was a huge explosion about an hour ago at the police station that was followed by thick smoke,” Bube told AFP. “It is so chaotic now, with people running to safety.”
A senior police officer, who did not want to be identified, said the bomber approached the station in a vehicle packed with explosives and was denied entry at the security gate, where the vehicle then blew up.
Lawai Danfili, who lives near the Unguwar Rogo station, said residents raced into their homes following the attacks.
“We had a loud explosion around the police station. The impact of the explosion shook houses in the area. We all moved indoors,” he said.
While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, Boko Haram has repeatedly targeted police across northern Nigeria, where most of its attacks have been carried out.
The city is home to Nigeria’s top Islamic leader, Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar, the current Sultan of Sokoto.
The radical Islamist group has long stated its loathing for Nigeria’s traditional Muslim leaders, saying they have betrayed the faith by subjecting themselves to the country’s secular government.
Boko Haram has said it wants to create an Islamic state in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north, where, in the pre-colonial era, there was a powerful Islamic empire headquartered in Sokoto.
Most residents in Nigeria’s southern half are Christians, and some analysts have warned that Boko Haram is trying to spark a religious war in Africa’s most populous country.
In May, gunmen accused of being Boko Haram members shot at a building near the Yan Marina police station, killing one officer and a civilian.
A Briton and an Italian were killed in the city in March during a failed attempt to free them from their kidnappers. They were believed to have been shot by their captors before they could be rescued.
Boko Haram, which regularly claims attacks in statements sent to journalists, denied involvement in the kidnapping and local leaders also insisted it was not responsible for killing the two Europeans.
The group has been blamed for the deaths of more than 1,000 people in attacks since mid-2009 and three of its top leaders have been designated as global terrorists by the United States.
On Sunday, two Nigerian leaders, former president Olusegun Obasanjo and ex-military ruler Ibrahim Babangida, called for talks to end the deadly Boko Haram insurgency, in a rare joint statement by the one-time rivals.By Aminu Abubakar (AFP)
Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, USAfricaonline.com and the Nigeria360 e-group. http://www.usafricaonline.com/2011/12/17/nigeria-federal-republic-of-insecurity-by-chido-nwangwu/ : IF any of the Nigerian President’s 100 advisers has the polite courage for the extraordinary task of reminding His Excellency of his foremost, sworn, constitutional obligation to the national interest about security and safety of Nigerians and all who sojourn in Nigeria, please whisper clearly to Mr. President that I said, respectfully: Nigerians, at home and abroad, are still concerned and afraid for living in what I call Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity. FULL text of commentary at USAfricaonline.com http://www.usafricaonline.com/2011/12/17/nigeria-federal-republic-of-insecurity-by-chido-nwangwu/
• Nigeria’s bin-Laden cheerleaders could ignite religious war, destabilize Africa. By USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwu. http://www.usafricaonline.com/chido.binladennigeria.html http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=USAfrica+Chido+Nwangwu+al-qaeda+terrrorism+nigeria&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8 http://www.usafricaonline.com/tag/al-qaeda/ 310 killed by Nigeria’s ‘talibans’ in Bauchi, Yobe n Maiduguri; crises escalate. USAfricaonline.com on July 28, 2009. www.usafricaonline.com/chido.ngrtalibans09.html http://www.groundreport.com/World/310-killed-by-Nigerias-talibans-in-Bauchi-Yobe-n-M/2904584
Related and prior reporting on the Jos crises on USAfrica, click here: http://www.usafricaonline.com/2011/08/16/10-killed-in-renewed-violence-near-jos/
News archives related to Jos, here http://www.usafricaonline.com/?s=jos 310 killed by Nigeria’s ‘talibans’ in Bauchi, Yobe n Maiduguri; crises escalate. USAfricaonline.com on July 28, 2009. www.usafricaonline.com/chido.ngrtalibans09.html http://www.groundreport.com/World/310-killed-by-Nigerias-talibans-in-Bauchi-Yobe-n-M/2904584
Trump looks foolish and crazy screaming about Obama’s birth certificates, college records and Muslim connection. By Raynard Jackson
Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa’s writer of the century. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com http://www.usafricaonline.com/chido.achebebest.html
USAfrica: Ikemba ODUMEGWU OJUKWU’s farewell in Aba, today February 28, 2012, reflected a fitting tribute, historically meaningful celebration, proper regard and deserving appreciation of the greatest Igbo, in my opinion, to have ever lived (like him or hate him).
I SALUTE Aba (aka Enyimba city), the robust and fearless town I was born, bred and raised, for giving the Ikemba, our Ochiagha, Gburugburu, Oka oburu uzo, dike na ndu ma n’onwu, mgbadike anyi, a hero’s farewell.
To the Ikemba, may your valiant soul rest in peace and dignity.
We will, and I, Chido Nwangwu, will never forget to continue to tell my generation and the next about your towering courage through tempest and thunder; through sorrow, pain, tears, blood….
•Dr. Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica multimedia networks, first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com; and recipient of several journalism and public policy awards, was recently profiled by the CNN International for his pioneering works on multimedia/news/public policy projects for Africans and Americans. http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2010/07/29/mpa.african.media.bk.a.cnn.
• For seasoned insights and breaking news on these issues, log on to USAfricaonline.com and USAfrica powered e-groups including Nigeria360 at yahoogroups and USAfrica at googlegroups. Follow us at Facebook.com/USAfricaChido and Twitter.com/Chido247
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