A mosque in one of northern Nigeria's biggest cities was bombed Friday as locals attended prayer. Initial reports suggest that as many as three car bombs exploded near the central mosque in the city of Kano.
In addition to the blasts, gunshots were heard as people scrambled for cover, according to a report from Al Jazeera. Nigerian police Capt. Ikechukwu Eze said that scores of people were likely dead and many more injured in the blasts that happened at the Emir's Palace mosque.
"Two bombs exploded, one after the other, in the premises of the Grand Mosque seconds after the prayers had started," resident Aminu Abdullahi told Al Jazeera, adding that a third went off nearby.
While no person or group has come forward to claim responsibility for the blasts, investigators on the ground believe that Boko Haram may be behind them as revenge for comments made about Boko Haram by the emir of the church, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. He called upon the people of Nigeria to defend themselves against the group.
"These people [Boko Haram], when they attack towns, they kill boys and enslave girls.... People must stand resolute," he told the Daily Post website.
"People should be sensitized on the importance of being on the alert. And they should prepare, they should acquire what they will defend themselves with," he was quoted as saying.
The blast comes just one day after a bomb went off at a bus station in the state of Adamawa, killing five policeman and 35 civilians. While the death toll of the blast has yet to be confirmed, it will certainly add to the 118 killed by Boko Haram in northern Nigeria this week.