At least 2 dead in Nigeria attacks

Story highlights

  • As many as eight government sites are targeted, police say
  • Islamist militant group Boko Haram claims responsibility
  • Bombs kill at least two Nigerian police officers in Kano
  • The region has been the site of religious violence
At least two police officers died and others were injured Friday when assailants launched a coordinated attack on as many as eight government sites in the northern Nigeria city of Kano, authorities said.
The attacks occurred at several police stations, including bombings at a police barracks and the building housing the assistant inspector general of police in Kano. Other sites targeted included the local passport office, headquarters of the state security services, immigration office headquarters and police command headquarters, a police statement said.
Gunfire could also be heard in the area, said the Rev. Murtala Mati, the former secretary general of the Kano chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria.
"The government is really trying but we are afraid that this attack will eventually descend on the church," he told CNN, adding that people had barricaded themselves in their homes. "We are all scared."
One eyewitness reported seeing the attackers enter a police station and free detainees before bombing it. Several others said they saw the attackers traveling through the area in a green car, spraying targets with gunfire and hurling explosive devices. The car was led by armed men on motorcycles, the witnesses said.
Kano is in an area that has suffered from violent attacks blamed on the militant Islamist group Boko Haram. The group claimed responsibility for the blast in a phone call to the Daily Trust, journalists at the newspaper told CNN.
In December, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in several northern states. The declaration followed a series of Christmas Day attacks on Christian churches blamed on the group.
The region has been wracked by religious violence in recent weeks, including a spate of attacks in early January that killed at least 25 Christians.