Nigeria: Kano Mosque Arson - Death Toll Hits 10


The death toll from the arson purportedly committed in Kano by an aggrieved youth, 38-year-old Shafiu Abubakar, has risen to 10, while 14 patients have continued to struggle for survival in the hospital.

Daily Trust had reported how a family dispute over the sharing of inheritance led to grief and death in the quiet community of Larabar-Albasawa on the outskirts of Gezawa, headquarters of Gezawa LGA of Kano State.

Shafiu was said to have set a mosque on fire while worshippers were observing the early morning (Subh) prayer around 5.30am.

The accused sprayed the mosque area with petroleum, locked the door and set it on fire trapping about 40 worshippers inside.

While the incident was first reported on Wednesday, eight people were confirmed dead, while more than 20 were taken to the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Kano for treatment.

Yesterday, Daily Trust's reporter visited the surgical ward of the hospital where the patients were receiving treatment.

His investigation showed that out of 23 people admitted in the ward, nine had died. One person had earlier died at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), taking the number of the deceased to 10.

While being taken across the rooms where the victims were receiving treatment, he was told that 14 patients were battling for dear life.

One of the medical personnel at the hospital, who preferred anonymity, said, "The chances of survival of all is two per cent when rated between one and 10 which is equivalent to 20 per cent in the ratio of 100."

Meanwhile, our reporter yesterday met 25-year-old Shu'aibu Ibrahim who is the only victim who has a mild case as he could walk and talk.

Ibrahim was seen outside the ward flanked by his sisters. They (Ibrahim and his sisters) were silent just as others kept their eyes fixed on the floor, as they mourned the multiple losses.

A bereaved mother, who lost her son, husband and brother, said, "It is now a month of continuous mourning in Larabar Albasawa community as many households have a victim of the circumstance."

Daily Trust had earlier reported how a family feud, which started as a result of inheritance distribution, took a new turn with more problems and unrest among the siblings, and spilled to the larger community.

Our correspondent, who visited the village on Wednesday, reports that the entire community was in confusion as families grieved over relations caught in the arson incident.

It could be recalled that the suspect is currently being held by the police command in Kano for investigation.

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