More than 20 explosions were heard, followed by gunfire in the streets, with the Islamist militant group Boko Haram claiming responsibility.
"We have been receiving dead bodies since (Friday) night from relief agencies involved in the evacuation of bodies," a morgue worker told the Telegraph. "At this moment, we have 162 bodies in the morgue, and this figure may change because bodies are still being brought."
The Red Cross said it counts 121 dead, but that figure is destined to climb. A man who lives near the center of the violence said bodies line the street.
"Between my house and the police headquarters along this street, I have counted 16 dead bodies that litter the streets, six of them policemen," Naziru Muhammad, who lives near state police headquarters, said.
More on GlobalPost: Boko Haram claims police headquarter bombings
Police confirmed eight areas of the city had been targeted, including the secret police headquarters, a regional police base and an immigration building. Two suicide bombers are suspected of triggering the violence.
Reuters reported that police and military roadblocks were put up across the city.
Authorities have declared a 24-hour curfew in Kano, which was not one of the areas subject to a state of emergency declared by the Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Dec. 31 after a spate of attacks by Boko Haram.
More on GlobalPost: Escape of Boko Haram bombmaker causes outrage
Also late Friday, in Jonathan’s home state of Bayelsa, two explosions rocked the main city of Yenagoa, AFP reported.
A spokesman for a military task force in the region said there had been no casualties in the oil-producing state.
Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is forbidden," has been behind a recent campaign of violence in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north, the BBC reported.