Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Car bomb in Nigeria city kills four

People attending a rally calling on the Nigerian government to rescue the kidnapped schoolgirls (AP)

A car bomb exploded killing four people in a Christian part of Nigeria's second biggest city Kano, police said.

Five people were wounded in the attack in the mainly Muslim city last night.

Police Superintendent Aderenle Shinaba said the car exploded before the bomber reached his target of the busy restaurants and bars lining Gold Coast Street, indicating the casualties could have been much higher. It was unclear if the bomber was among them.

The Sabon Gari Christian quarter is a popular area where people dine, play games, dance and drink alcohol late into the night - all anathema to the Islamic extremists blamed for previous attacks in the neighbourhood.

Multiple blasts in Sabon Gari - the name means "Strangers' Quarters" in the Hausa language - killed at least 24 people in last July and a suicide bomber drove a car laden with explosives into the bustling bus station in March 2013, killing at least 25 people.

Alcohol is forbidden under Shariah law that holds in the largely Muslim city but authorities generally turn a blind eye to the Christian districts and hotels.

Previous explosions have been blamed on the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram that claimed responsibility for two explosions last month in the capital Abuja which killed more than 120 people and wounded more than 200.

World attention turned on the group with its mass abduction a month ago of 276 schoolgirls whom it is threatening to sell into slavery if the government does not release detained militants.

Several countries including the US, France and Britain have sent military experts in surveillance, intelligence gathering and hostage negotiation to help bring the girls back home.

Nigeria's five-year-old Islamic uprising has killed thousands with attacks increasing in frequency and deadliness this year despite a year-old state of emergency.

More than 1,500 civilians have been killed in the uprising so far this year.

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