The culprit allegedly doused the mosque with gasoline and set it on fire, trapping worshippers inside © frhuynh / Getty Images

At least 11 worshippers have been killed and dozens more injured after a man set a mosque on fire in the Gezawa area of Kano State, Nigeria on Wednesday.

The attack took place during morning prayers, police said. A 38-year-old suspect – who allegedly doused the mosque with gasoline and locked the doors before setting it ablaze, trapping around 40 worshippers inside – has been arrested.

Police have ruled out terrorism, saying the suspect confessed to targeting the mosque over a longstanding family dispute related to inheritance. They added that he aimed at certain family members who were present inside the mosque.

“What happened is not associated with any act of terrorism, rather it was a skirmish that arose as a result of inheritance distribution,” local police chief Umar Sanda told journalists after visiting the scene.

Local residents rushed to help those trapped inside after hearing the explosion, local media reported. Initially, police said the suspect used a Molotov cocktail; however, later they confirmed that the attack did not involve the use of explosives.

The situation could have been brought under control much faster if the firefighters had been alerted immediately, the fire service in Kano said.

Initial reports put the number of fatalities at one person, but the death toll later rose after more victims died while being treated at the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital in Kano; 17 victims, including children, are still receiving treatment at the hospital, according to police. (RT)