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Attacks on jail, prison, mosque kill 19 in Nigeria

Radical Islamists blamed for deaths in Kano, Gombe.

Nigeria boko haram kano 2012 02 24Enlarge
Two residents pass by bombed corner shops attached to Bompai police barracks in the northern Nigerian city of Kano on Jan. 24 after multiple explosions and gun assaults by Boko Haram in the city killed at least 185 people. Boko Haram attacked Kano again today. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

As many as 19 people are dead after attacks on a mosque, prison and police station in two Nigerian cities late Friday.

While no group has claimed responsibility, witnesses at the scene said it was a Boko Haram attack. Gunmen shot and killed five people at a mosque in Kano, Agence France-Presse said, while another attack burned down a police station, killing 14, in Gombe.

“The gunmen had attempted to break into the prison near the police station and their attempt was unsuccessful, but they succeeded in burning down the police station,” police Chief Gandhi Ebikeme Orubebe said. “So far, 12 people have been killed in the bomb and shooting attack, 10 of them were civilians and two policemen.”

Gombe is now under a 24-hour curfew, Bloomberg said. Boko Haram threatened to continue attacks on prisons to secure the release of its members, according to reports.

Reuters said two policemen and 10 civilians died in Gombe, but there’s no official word on how many of the civilians were Boko Haram members.

“There were several explosions. They wanted to break open the prison, but the policemen on guard there repelled them,” Ebikeme told Reuters. “So they attacked the police station and blew up everything there. Two policeman died, one soldier was injured. … Some were civilians and some of the hoodlums also died. It's not clear how many civilians.”

He said police arrested three people. Earlier on Friday, gunmen attacked a mosque, killing five people in Kano.

“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,” police spokesman Majiya Musa told Reuters.

As many as 30 people were inside the mosque, according to local police.

More from GlobalPost: Nigerian forces kill 8 Boko Haram members

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/nigeria/120224/boko-haram-kills-5-at-nigerian-mosque