Some Nigeria attackers wore police kit

2012-01-23 22:37

Kano - Some of the attackers who carried out co-ordinated bombings and shootings in the Nigerian city of Kano wore police uniforms as they gunned down officers, police said on Monday.

It was unclear how they obtained the uniforms, but their use led to further confusion on Friday night as the largest city in Nigeria's mainly Muslim north exploded into violence claimed by Islamist group Boko Haram.

The death toll from the bombings, shootings and gun battles was at least 166.

"I saw somebody wearing a mobile [police] uniform with an AK-47," Assistant Police Superintendent Wellington Asiayei said from his hospital bed.

Asiayei said he had just heard a bomb blast and was closing the door to his room in the barracks to run toward the main building at the time.

"I thought it was my colleague, so I now said, 'Come sir, let's run to the headquarters. Something is happening.' So I was about to lock my door... I saw him raise the rifle at me."

He was shot and his spinal cord was hit, leaving him unable to walk.

Another police source who spoke on condition of anonymity said others were wearing police uniforms as well.

"It was quite difficult for us because some of them wore our uniforms and camouflaged as members of the force," the source said. "That was what made the situation more difficult."

The shocking attacks saw more than 20 explosions, with eight locations targeted, including police and immigration offices, as well as widespread shootings and gun battles. Bodies littered the streets the next morning.