(Reuters) – Gunmen sprayed a mosque with bullets in Nigeria’s biggest northern city of Kano on Friday, killing five worshippers, the police spokesman said.
Majiya Musa said police suspected the attackers to be from radical Islamist sect Boko Haram, which is waging an increasingly violent insurgency in the north of Africa’s most populous country.
“They came on the back of a motorcycle and shot sporadically at worshippers this evening … the situation is now under control. An investigation has been launched,” he said.
The Islamist insurgency used to be confined mostly to its heartland in the remote northeastern city of Maiduguri, but has radiated out across the north.
It is increasingly plaguing Kano, a major trading centre and ancient city that was once at the heart of the great caravan routes connecting Africa’s interior with the Mediterranean.
Boko Haram, which wants to impose sharia law across a nation split evenly between Muslims and Christians, has become more sophisticated in its methods in the last six months.
The sect killed 186 people in Kano, Nigeria’s second largest city, last month, in its deadliest attack so far.
But recent attacks attributed to it look more like the group’s traditional, simpler style: drive-by shootings on the back of bikes.
Gunmen on motorcycles shot dead two policemen and wounded two others in Kano on Thursday. (Reporting by Bala Adamu; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Sophie Hares)