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[Published: Monday January 23 2012]

Insurgents kill over 178 in Nigeria's Kano
Kano, Nigeria, 23 Jan – (ANA) - Gun and bomb attacks by Islamist insurgents in the northern Nigerian city of Kano last week killed at least 178 people, a hospital doctor has said, underscoring the challenge President Goodluck Jonathan faces to prevent his country sliding further into chaos.
A coordinated series of bomb blasts and shooting sprees mostly targeting police stations on Friday sent panicked residents of Nigeria's second biggest city of more than 10 million people running for cover.
The scale of the carnage makes this by far the deadliest strike claimed by Boko Haram, a shadowy Islamist sect that started out as a clerical movement opposed to western education but has become the biggest security menace facing Africa's top oil producer.
"We have 178 people killed in the two main hospitals," the senior doctor in Kano's Murtala Mohammed hospital said following Friday's attacks, citing records from his own and the other main hospital of Nasarawa.
"There could be more, because some bodies have not yet come in and others were collected early."
The streets were quiet on Sunday in Kano, a vast metropolis of wide paved highways, normally buzzing with motorbikes, and sandy alleyways where hawkers sell grilled meat and donkeys pull carts heaped with fruit and vegetables.
Churches, which would usually be filled with worshippers in the religiously mixed city, were largely empty.
Jonathan, a Christian from the south, travelled to Kano on Sunday, visiting hospitals to speak to victims. (ANA)
FA/ANA/23 January 2012----------

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