Multiple explosions have hit a mainly Christian area in Nigeria’s northern Kano city, with security forces transporting scores of wounded to area hospitals, witnesses say.
“We have had some explosions in Sabon Gari [neighbourhood] this evening,” Kano state Police Commissioner Musa Daura confirmed on Monday night.
Daura said that at least 15 people had been killed and another six injured, while a mortuary attendant at a nearby hospital said that at least 10 bodies had been brought in from the scene.
Witness Kolade Ade said at least one blast appeared to come from a Mercedes Benz car parked beside a kiosk selling alcohol and soft drinks.
“After the first bomb, I threw myself into the canal [drain] to hide. There were at least three blasts,” he said.
The bombs came as hundreds of people thronged the area in Sabon Gari neighbourhood where some were playing snooker and others table tennis.
“There is confusion all over the place. There were four huge explosions, so huge that they shook the whole area. Everywhere is enveloped in smoke and dust,” said Chinyere Madu, a fruit vendor.
The blasts were said to have targeted Enugu street in Sabon Gari, a strip filled with outdoor bars and eateries.
The explosions raised fears among the city’s mainly Muslim population, who usually go out for midnight prayers during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Nigeria’s government is fighting an uprising by the armed group Boko Haram. The group has in the past said it wants to impose Islamic law in the country, which is divided almost equally between Christians and Muslims.
Kano is the largest city in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north, but Sabon Gari is a mostly Christian neighbourhood.
Boko Haram previously carried out a series of coordinated suicide blasts in Sabon Gari in March that killed at least 22 people.