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Attack On Mosque In Nigeria Kills Dozens

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

More than 60 people are dead and as many wounded in an attack on a mosque in northern Nigeria as worshipers were attending Friday prayers.

The BBC says three explosions were reported at the mosque in Kano, and that the attackers also turned gunfire on the worshipers.

"These people have bombed the mosque. I am face to face with people screaming," Chijjani Usman, a local reporter who had gone to the mosque in the old city for prayers himself, was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Authorities tell Reuters that the attack, using guns and bombs, carries the hallmark of the Boko Haram militant group.

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton says "the bombing was clearly meant to have maximum impact, coming as it did during the weekly Muslim Friday prayers."

According to Reuters:

"The mosque is adjacent to the palace of the emir of Kano, the second highest Islamic authority in the country, although the emir himself, former central bank governor Lamido Sanusi, was not present at the time.

"A police spokesman in Kano declined to make any immediate comment. There was also no immediate claim of responsibility, but suspicion is likely to fall on Boko Haram, which has for five years waged a campaign to revive a medieval Islamic caliphate governed by sharia law."

Ofeibea reports that the attack follows a roadside bomb also blamed on Islamist extremists.

The earlier incident occurred near a village just outside Mubi near Nigeria's border with Cameroon.

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Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.