11 Confirmed Dead In Kano Mosque Attack

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Eleven persons have been confirmed dead in the arson carried out on Wednesday by a 38-year-old Shafiu Abubakar, who set a mosque on fire during the early morning prayer over inheritance dispute at Gadan village on the outskirts of Gezawa in Kano State.

About 40 worshippers were said to be praying when the arsonist ignited fire and locked them inside the mosque to deny them a chance to escape.

A resident of the village Rabiu Gadan, confirmed to LEADERSHIP that 11 people have so far died due to the burns they suffered and that the funeral of eight of them had already been conducted while the corpses of the remaining three were being prepared for burial on Thursday.

Rabiu said the attack was not Shafiu’s first violent outburst as he had previously assaulted two of his older brothers and then surrendered himself o the police claiming he had killed them.

Another resident, Malam Garba, said, “He has always been troubled, but when he challenged his family to give him his portion of the inheritance, they did. He was even taken to a mental institution once when he attacked his relatives but he was given a clean bill of health. So, he was clearly in his right mind when he set the fire, two of his uncles died and we buried them yesterday already.”

LEADERSHIP reports that the assailant is currently in police custody, where he already confessed to his actions, citing frustration with the manner some of the victims handled the inheritance sharing.

He told the police that despite warnings to his family members to stop maltreating him, his pleas fell on deaf ears, and as such he did not regret his actions.

While residents confirmed the inheritance dispute within the family, the exact nature of the disagreement remained unclear.

At the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital in Kano, where the injured were rushed for treatment, distraught relatives anxiously awaited the fate of their loved ones.

One such relatives, simply identified as Maijida, expressed her anguish, fearing the loss of her father and brothers. “My father and two brothers are severely injured and I was told some people have died already, what will I do if I lose them, I will be left all alone.”

One of the residents that attempted to rescue the victims, Musa Muhammad Gadan said, “I was late going to the prayers, but as I was rushing to the mosque, I heard a blasting noise and then I heard people screaming so I rushed over, the flames had engulfed the building, I and some others tried to rescue them and that is how I sustained burns on my arms.”

The Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 1 Kano, AIG Umar Mamman Sanda, confirmed the tragic loss of eight lives on Wednesday when he led a delegation of security personnel, including the Commissioner of Police in the state and the Director, Department of State Services (DSS) on a visit to the victims at Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital.

He said, “The suspect was said to be not satisfied with the distribution and was reacting to that. He is presently with us and is giving useful information. It is really unfortunate.”

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