Abuja, Apr 29 - Heavily armed militants launched vicious attacks at a University campus in northern Nigeria's restive Kano city today, targeting worshippers at two church services and leaving at least 20 people dead. The two centres were targeted simultaneously at the Bayero University when Christians were holding church services.
The militants, who came on motorcycles, first threw explosives at the services, and then attacked the panic stricken people as they tried to flee the area.
While some died in the explosions, others were gunned down. Bullet-ridden bodies were seen littered at the scene of the attack, witnesses said. "Most of the worshippers were Catholics and the services were well attended, with an overflow outside the building," a witness told PTI on phone.
Police spokesman Idris Ibrahim said the men came on motorcycles and escaped soon after the attacks. Victims were rushed to a hospital and witnesses said the toll was likely to go up. The attacks left a grim scene at the University campus, and half-eaten meals were seen left at the site of the attack.
No group has claimed responsibility, but the attack carries the imprint of Islamic fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram, which has been carrying out a campaign of violence in the country.
More than 180 people had died in Kano a few months back when the sect targeted its residents. Earlier this week, militants of Boko Haram bombed newspaper offices in Nigeria, including an attack on the influential 'Thisday' newspaper, killing eight people.
The sect says it has an avowed mission of turning the country into an Islamic state with Sharia rule. But some analysts think there are political motives behind the attacks, tht have also targeted a United Nations building last year.
Nigeria's population of 180 million is divided evenly between Christians and Muslims. While the Christian population is dominant in the South, the North has a Muslim majority. PTI