University bombed in northern Nigeria
A bomb was detonated at Bayero University in the northern city of Kano on Sunday. According to witnesses at least eight people were killed.
The bomb was detonated by a gunman in a building used by Christian worshippers. A lecturer at the university, who requested anonymity, told RFI that the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) has cordoned off the area where the bomb exploded and is sifting through the rubble for clues.
The number of dead in the attack could have been higher, but the university campus is quieter than usual because it is reading week according to the lecturer.
No group has claimed responsibility. Although local people suspect this latest attack could be the work of Islamists. In January over 180 people died in Kano following multiple bomb and gun attacks, for which the Islamic jihadists Boko Haram claimed responsibility.
Muhammad Zubairu, a Kano-based lawyer and human rights activist, is not so sure this latest attack is the work of Boko Haram. Instead he says it may be a retaliatory attack carried out by Muslims for an attack on a mosque.
“A mosque was fire-bombed here in Kano about two months ago. So this could be a revenge attack,” he told RFI. “The university is not guarded by the military like some other public buildings, so it would be an easy target.”
Kano has been under a state of emergency since the January attacks and an estimated 4,000 members of the JTF have been posted to the city. Opinion is divided over whether their presence has improved security.
“Members of the JTF regularly harass people and demand money at checkpoints,” said Zubairu and adds, “and when attacks happen they often go in all guns blazing injuring innocent bystanders.”
A researcher from Amnesty International is due to visit Bayero University tomorrow.
“The JTF is aware of this. So we hope a proper investigation will be carried out by the JTF on this occasion,” said Zubairu.