A Nigerian suicide bomber blew himself up Saturday when he rammed his car into the office gate of Airtel, one of Nigeria’s major mobile phone companies in the northern city of Kano, police said.
It was a twin bombing operation, but the second suicide bomber blew himself up in front of the office of the nation’s biggest mobile operator, MTN. He didn’t make his target.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks in northern Nigeria’s largest city, and no reports of any civilian deaths. But the strikes carried the imprimatur of the Boko Haram sect.
“There has been a bomb blast at Airtel office. From what we hear, it was a suicide attack. The bomber rammed his car into the gate and blew himself up. The building is on fire,” said a policeman who requested anonymity.
There was no report of casualties from the attack, which took place around 0730 GMT.
An army spokesman in Kano, Lieutenant Iweha Ikedichi, also confirmed that the bomber blew himself up in the attack,
One Airtel worker, Bayo Osho, said that he was injured in the leg in the explosion that took place during the attack.
“A car rammed into the gate and forced his way into the premises. The car hit me on the leg and flung me into a corner before it exploded. I was dragged out and taken to the hospital by soldiers outside the gate,” he told AFP at the nearby Nassarawa Specialist hospital in Kano where he was taken.
Security agents have cordoned off Malam Kato Square, scene of the blast, while firefighters battled to put off the inferno caused by the blast.
Security agents cordoned off the scene while firefighters battled to put out the fire.
Officials from Airtel, one of the three biggest mobile phone service providers in Nigeria, were unavailable for comment.
A second suspected bomber was blown up when his car exploded outside the gate of an office of MTN, the country’s largest mobile network. “He was blown up when his car exploded outside the gate,” Ikedichi said.
No other casualties were recorded in the attack, he added.
Kano was the scene of Boko Haram’s deadliest attack yet in January, when at least 185 people were killed in coordinated bombings and shootings.
Officials of Airtel, one of the three biggest mobile phone service providers in the country, were unavailable for comments.
The attack today may signal the enactment of the fears of western nations about increasing terrorist activities in Nigeria, despite Nigerian official assurances that ‘they were on top of the situation’.
The terrorist group in northern Nigeria, the Boko Haram has stepped up its attacks in the last six months, as government forces cracked down on its members, especially in Nigeria’s North east and Kano.
This year, deaths resulting from the activities of the group, have exceeded previous years, since the group began its violent campaign against the Nigerian state in 2009, after the killing of its leader, Muhammed Yusuf extra-judicially by the police.