Nigerian Police Arrest 57 People in Shiite Procession, Deny Death Toll | Police News
The Islamic Movement banned in Nigeria said eight operatives were shot dead by police during the Abuja procession.
Nigerian police say they arrested dozens of Shia Muslims from a banned group during a religious procession in the nation’s capital. A spokesperson for the group said eight members were shot dead during the rally.
Abuja police have denied there were any casualties when the group, marking Arbaeen’s religious ritual, was dispersed on Tuesday
Police said they intervened to arrest members of the Forbidden Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) as they caused “unnecessary trouble for motorists” along the Abuja-Kubwa highway, adding that 57 people were arrested afterwards. that members of the IMN attacked the police with Molotov cocktails. and stones.
“The criminals who were found in number were quickly intercepted by security agents and dispersed to prevent them from further disturbing public order,” the police statement said.
However, IMN member Abdullahi Muhamed told Reuters news agency participants were walking peacefully along the highway when a team of police and soldiers fired tear gas and live ammunition. on them.
IMN spokesman Ibrahim Musa said security forces shot and injured protesters.
“We were almost assembling the procession when the police and army arrived and started shooting,” he said.
The IMN, a pro-Iranian group that was banned in 2019 for demonstrating against the arrest of their leader Ibrahim el-Zakzaky, has been in conflict with Nigerian security forces for years and often marches in Abuja.
The army killed 350 IMN Shia Muslims in a religious procession in northern Nigeria in December 2015. Rights groups said many were shot and burned to death.
IMN al-Zakzaky chief and his wife, who have been in detention since 2015, were released last month after a court acquitted them of murder charges involving the death of a soldier.
But the religious leader still faces terrorism and treason charges, prosecutors said.
Muslims make up about half of Nigeria’s 200 million people. The overwhelming majority of them are Sunnis. The Shiite Muslim minority has long complained of discrimination and repression.