KANO (AFP) -Gunmen attacked a police station in Nigeria’s flashpoint city of Kano on Monday and multiple blasts rocked a market in Maiduguri, the base of Islamist group Boko Haram, residents said.
“I had just arrived home in time for the curfew when I heard an explosion coming from around the police station. Shortly, gunshots followed. From what I heard it sounded like a shootout,” said Bala Salisu from Kano’s Sharada district.
Kano police spokesman Magaji Majia told AFP he had heard reports of the attack on the Sharada police station, but said the circumstances were not yet clear.
Residents of Maiduguri, east of Kano, also reported multiple blasts at the Gamboru market that set several vehicles and shops on fire.
Maiduguri is seen as a stronghold of Boko Haram, the Islamist group blamed for a series of recent attacks in Nigeria that have killed more than 200 people already this year.
“I heard five explosions around the market and plumes of of black smoke… filled the air. The market is still on fire. Soldiers and policeman have taken over the whole area,” said resident Aisha Goni.
Colonel Victor Ebhaleme, operations chief for the Joint Task Force in Maiduguri, a special military unit set up to crack down on Boko Haram, confirmed the explosions at the market but declined to give details.