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29 policemen killed in Kano bomb attacks, police authorities report

On 23 January, the Kano State Police Command reported that 29 policemen were among the 186 persons it confirmed killed, in the multiple bomb attacks staged by the militant Islamist group widely known as Boko Haram, on Friday 20 January.

In a statement, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Ibrahim Idris, said apart from the police casualties, the breakdown of other victims was as follows: three operatives of the State Security Service (SSS), one Customs officer, two Immigration officers, one journalist and 150 other civilians.

The statement listed the areas targeted by the attackers as the Police zonal headquarters along Bayero University Road, the Farm Centre and Zaria Road police divisions, the Immigration office located at Farm Centre, SSS headquarters at Giginya quarters, the official home of the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 1 (Kano, Katsina and Jigawa States) and St Louis Secondary School. It said the attacks were launched simultaneously by several suicide bombers.

The statement further disclosed that the state Police Command had recovered 10 motor vehicles loaded with improvised explosive devices, in different parts of the metropolis.


Police reports 65 killed, including 35 Boko Haram members, during attack in Yobe State

Mr HAFIZ RINGIM, Inspector General of Police

On 10 November, the Nigeria Police Force provided an update on the casualties of the 4 November attacks by the militant Islamist sect, Boko Haram, in Yobe State.

A statement issued by a police spokesman, Chief Superintendent Yemi Ajayi, said 65 people died in all, far less than the 150 which some humanitarian workers had unofficially given to newsmen.

The statement said: “For the avoidance of doubt, the Nigeria Police hereby confirms 65 deaths as casualty figures as at date 9th November, 2011. The breakdown is as follows: 11 policemen, two soldiers, two Civil Defence personnel, one Immigration personnel, one Customs personnel, one FRSC personnel, 11 civilians and 36 suspected Boko Haram members”.  

Commiserating with the victims and their families, as well as the government and people of Yobe State, over what it described as “callous and criminal acts”, the statement urged members of the public to always cooperate with the Police in its quest towards reducing crime to the barest minimum in the country. 

It also reiterated “the need for all Nigerians and non-Nigerians alike to be more circumspect, alert at all times and to report any suspicious movements, strange gatherings and untoward behaviour to the nearest police station or to other security agencies nationwide”.


One of the buses crushed in the accident

On 18 July, at least 14 people died instantly, in two multiple road accidents along the Nyanya-Karu road, in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Some unconfirmed reports say the casualties may have subsequently risen to over 30.

Local sources said in the first accident, which occurred around 2.15pm at Furniture Market, Kugbo, a trailer ran into a Toyota Corolla car, crushing its two occupants to death instantly.

Shortly after that, another trailer lost control around Mechanics Village, also in Kugbo, and ran into eight other vehicles, comprising three private cars, four commercial buses, and one taxi cab. Twelve people died on the spot. Ten others, suffering various degrees of injury, were rushed to hospitals in the Asokoro and Maitama districts.

Apart from those who died instantly, several others wounded are reported to have died as they were being rushed to hospitals or shortly after getting there. One source reports that the casualties may have exceeded 30, but this has not been confirmed.

Rescue workers from the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the police rushed to the scene to help survivors and recover bodies from the wreckage of the many vehicles that were involved in the accident.

As the second accident drew large crowds of rescue workers and other onlookers, it caused a massive pile-up of traffic for several kilometres in both directions of the highway.


Update on Zuba explosion: NEMA confirms 2 dead, 11 injured

On 30 May, the Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Muhammad Sani-Sidi, confirmed that two people died and 11 were injured as a result of the explosion which occurred in Zuba, a small town near Abuja, the previous day.

The bomb, suspected to have been locally made, had gone off at about 8:35pm on Sunday 29 May, at a bar within the Lagos Garage of Zuba International Market.  Early reports had assessed the incident as a minor blast which caused slight injuries to only three persons.

However, updating the records many hours later, the NEMA boss said the number of persons injured was 11, while two deaths were recorded.

He also directed the Abuja Operations office of the response agency to move the victims from the hospital where they were being treated in Zuba, to the Specialist Hospital in Gwagwalada, about 15 km away.

HRW reports 800 killed in post-election riots, urges prosecution of killers, attention to underlying causes

On 16 May, the New York-based organisation, Human Rights Watch, reported that election-related and communal violence in several northern states, following the April 2011 presidential polls, left more than 800 people dead.

 “The April elections were heralded as among the fairest in Nigeria’s history”, says Corinne Dufka, senior West Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch, “but they also were among the bloodiest”.  

In its report titled Post-Election Violence in Northern Nigeria  and just published, Human Rights Watch said the violence began with widespread protests by supporters of the main opposition candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, a northern Muslim from the Congress for Progressive Change, following the re-election of incumbent Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the Niger Delta in the south, who was the candidate for the ruling People’s Democratic Party.

The report details that the protests degenerated into violent riots or sectarian killings in 12 northern states of the country namely Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara. It further reports the estimate by relief officials, that more than 65,000 people were displaced by the violence.

Dufka urges Nigeria’s state and federal authorities to “promptly investigate and prosecute those who orchestrated and carried out these crimes”. She adds that:  “The newly elected authorities should quickly build on the democratic gains from the elections by bringing to justice those who orchestrated these horrific crimes and addressing the root causes of the violence”.


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