Nigerian police find bomb-filled cars in Kano after Boko Haram attacks killed 178

January 23, 2012

(Red Cross officials load bodies into a truck in Nigeria's northern city of Kano January 21, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer)

Nigerian police said they found cars and vans filled with explosives in the northern city of Kano on Monday, three days after Islamist sect Boko Haram carried out a deadly attack there. Security in Nigeria’s second largest city has been beefed up since Friday when bomb attacks and fierce gun battles between the sect and police killed at least 178 people.

“The police were on a stop-and-search today and in two of the checkpoints, the Boko Haram members on sighting the checkpoints abandoned their vehicles and ran,” a high-level police officer told Reuters, asking not to be named. “The vehicles were later checked and the cars were loaded with explosives. Two brand new Hilux open pick-up vans were also found packed with explosives in the Bompai area of Kano.”

Boko Haram, a Hausa term meaning “Western education is sinful”, is loosely modelled on Afghanistan’s Taliban. The sect focuses its attacks mostly on the police, military and government, but has attacked Christians more recently. It says it is fighting enemies who have wronged its members through violence, arrests or economic neglect and corruption.

Read the full story by Mike Oboh and Ibrahim Mshelizza here.
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