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Attack on Christians leaves 15 dead

Kano - Gunmen killed at least 15 people and wounded many more on Sunday in an attack on a university theatre being used by Christian worshippers in Kano, a northern Nigerian city where hundreds have died in Islamist attacks this year.

Security sources said gunmen arrived on motorcycles and threw small homemade bombs into the theatre before shooting fleeing worshippers. There was sporadic gunfire in other parts of the city later on from attackers driven from the university by the army, the sources said.

Relatives of victims of a gun attack mourn at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital in Nigeria's northern city of Kano. Gunmen killed at least 15 people and wounded many more on Sunday in an attack on a university theatre being used by Christian worshippers in Kano. Credit: Reuters

“I counted at least 15 dead bodies. I think they were being taken to the Amino Kano teaching hospital,” said a witness who did not wish to be identified. He said he saw many more people being treated for injuries.

A security source said at least 15 people were dead and a source at the hospital said by telephone he had seen between 10 and 15 dead bodies brought in with gunshot wounds and dozens more wounded were being treated.

Bayero University spokesperson, Mustapha Zahradeen, said two university professors had been killed in the attacks.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi condemned the attacks.

“The latest terror attacks in Nigeria... during Christian religious celebrations are horrible and despicable acts to be condemned in the strongest possible way,” he said in a statement.

He added that people must be encouraged to not fall into the “vicious circle of murderous hatred”.

Radical Islamist sect Boko Haram, which wants to carve out an Islamic state in northern Nigeria, has killed hundreds in bomb and gun attacks this year. It mainly targets police and authority figures but has also attacked churches.

The army said it had secured the area.

“The attack took place in one of the lecture theatres used as a place of worship by Christians. For sure there are casualties but I can't say how many,” said Ikedichi Iweha, an army spokesperson.

“The elements came, used explosives and guns to attack them. We have repelled them and cordoned off the area,” Iweha said.

Red Cross officials said they were trying to get access and had no details on casualties. - Reuters

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