Gunmen shot dead a Muslim cleric in his mosque and fired on the congregation, killing two more people, in the northern Nigerian city of Kano Friday, witnesses said.
Followers of Jaafar Adam, a Wahhabi cleric, said the attack was political, ahead of the weekend elections for governors and legislators for the country's 36 states.
Two gunmen entered the mosque in a Kano suburb where Adam was leading morning prayers, shot the cleric twice and then opened fire on worshippers, Haruna Idris, one of Adam's disciples, told AFP at the scene where thousands of people had gathered.
"The sheikh was seriously injured and he died moments after he was taken to hospital. Two more people were killed while three others are now in hospital with serious gunshot wounds", Idris said.
"The two assailants rushed out of the mosque and jumped into a car with a driver at the wheel and sped off", Idris said.
Mohammed Baba, Kano police spokesman, said two people were killed in the attack.
"To our knowledge Sheikh Jaafar Adam and one other person were killed in the attack. We have started investigations to identify those who perpetrated this heinous crime and bring them to justice. It is premature to make any comments on this incident", he said.
Adam's followers, however, believe the murder was politically motivated.
"It is just a day to elections and some people came and killed this man with a large following in a mosque", said Nasiru Hamisu, a civil servant in his forties.
"It is evident the murder has political undertones and I believe some people want to use this to cause religious turmoil in Kano to disrupt the elections for whatever reason", Hamisu said.
Hundreds of his follwers would flock to his mosque built by the London-based Saudi charity Al-Muntada Al-Islami in the Dorayi district of Kano to listen to his Friday sermons.
Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16