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The most important mosque in north Nigeria’s biggest city, Kano, came under attack Friday, just as worshipers were gathering to pray.

Three separate bombs and a hail of gunfire killed at least 81 people, according to Reuters. The final death count is expected to be higher.

The attack may be related to the mosque’s location — it sits next to the emir of Kano’s palace. Emir Lamido Sanusi, who was not there at the time, has been a critic of Boko Haram, a militant group that famously kidnapped hundreds of young girls and is working to impose its own particular religious will on the region.

According to the Red Cross, more than a million people have fled.

Nigeria is the largest country in Africa, by population, and has a large economy fueled by abundant oil reserves, mining and agriculture.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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