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22 Jan, 2012 12:56

Death toll in Nigeria terror onslaught tops 170 (VIDEO)

More deadly attacks have hit northern Nigeria two days after the country endured one of the bloodiest spates of sectarian violence in its history, claiming up to 178 lives.

In the latest incident, which took place early on Sunday, gunmen killed at least nine people and injured 12, the British Sunday Telegraph newspaper reports.The death toll from terror attacks on Friday in the Nigerian city of Kano has climbed to at least 150 as estimated by the Red Cross, amid conflicting reports on casualty figures. The victims died in bombings and shootings aimed at eight government buildings across the city. "We have 178 people killed in the two main hospitals. There could be more, because some bodies have not yet come in and others were collected early," the senior doctor in Kano's Murtala Mohammed hospital told Reuters on Sunday, citing records from his own and the other main hospital of Nasarawa.At the same time, the Leadership newspaper put the death toll at 215. The accumulated data comes from several mortuaries, including the ones at the main hospital of Murtala Mohammed Specialist, the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital and Sir Muhammadu Sanusi Hospital.

According to the Nigerian media, the authorities have imposed a night curfew on the city and warned the population against visiting Kano. After the attacks, soldiers and police swarmed throughout the streets while many residents hid in their homes. The radical Islamist terror group Boko Haram, believed to have carried out over 500 terror attacks last year, has already claimed responsibility for the violence in Kano. The group, whose name can be translated as “Western education is a sin,” said that the onslaught was a protest against the government’s refusal to release its members from prison.

According to The Times of Nigeria, the bombing and shooting attacks targeted five police buildings, two immigration offices and the local headquarters of the country’s secret police. Police Corporal Aliu Abdullahi, who survived one of the attacks, said that the terrorists wore police uniform to blend with officers.  "We were in the mess when we saw people running and heard gunshots from the gate. I saw them shooting,” Aliu Abdullahi was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying. “You could not differentiate the Boko Haram members from our Police Mobile Force men because they wore the same uniform."

Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan said that those guilty of the attacks, which he called a “dastardly act,” would face "the full wrath of the law.""It is with a heart full of sadness and pain that I convey my condolences … to the families, friends, associates and relatives of all those who lost their lives in the acts of violence in Kano," Jonathan said in his statement.On Sunday, the EU condemned the terrorism in the African country and sent words of support to the Nigerian people who enjoy “a long tradition of social and religious tolerance,” as declared in EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton’s statement.Meanwhile, at least 11 more people have been killed in Nigeria's northern state of Bauchi. The attack happened overnight and killed civilians, police and army personnel who were running a checkpoint, the police say on Sunday. In a separate incident, two churches were attacked across the state.Though Bauchi is a region where Boko Haram has staged attacks before, the police did not immediately connect the recent assaults with the radical Islamist sect. The region is some 320 kilometers (200 miles) away from Kano.The attacks come shortly after major political rallies in the country, protesting the cancellation of a fuel subsidy by the government, with demonstrators calling Jonathan a “fraud” and a “tyrant”. The Nigerian authorities reacted almost immediately by dropping fuel prices.