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

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface.  We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig