Crime: Three killed as Shiite members protest in Kaduna, Nigeria - Fresh News - iReporterNG.Com | No #1 News Media in Nigeria

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Crime: Three killed as Shiite members protest in Kaduna, Nigeria - Fresh News

Crime: Three killed as Shiite members protest in Kaduna, Nigeria - Fresh News

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There was tension in Kaduna on Tuesday as the Islamic Movement in Nigeria again clashed with security operatives in the Tudun Wada area of the state capital.

An eyewitness said the Shiite sect members were preparing for a protest against the killing of their members and the arrest of the leader, Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, by the military.

The eyewitness, who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said as the preparation was gathering momentum, police operatives swooped on the sect members and dispersed the crowd.

 

The Shiites were said to have later regrouped at Tudun Nupawa, also within the same vicinity, where many of the sect members allegedly engaged the police in a shootout, leading to the death of three members of the sect while scores sustained serious injuries.

The source at the Police Clinic on Independent Way in the metropolis told one of our correspondents that no fewer than five policemen were brought into the hospital injured and in critical state.

Shortly after the clash, the Minister of Interior, Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd.), led the Federal Government’s delegation to Kaduna State to assess the situation, particularly in Zaria, where a bloody clash between soldiers and the Shiites reportedly claimed seven lives on Saturday.

Dambazau, after a closed-door meeting with the state Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, proceeded to Zaria.

But before he left, he simply told journalists, who had laid a siege to the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House, that he was in the state to see the situation of things and decided to call on the governor, who is the chief security officer of the state.

“I came to Kaduna to see the situation of things and I decided to see the Chief Security Officer of the state. I’m on my way to Zaria to see the situation of things,” he said.

Meanwhile, the sect in a statement on Tuesday, accused the Police Mobile Force of killing unarmed members of the sect, saying many were currently receiving treatment for gunshot injuries.

The statement by the President of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria’s Media Forum, said the police opened fire on the sect’s members, who were on a peaceful protest.

The statement read in part, “The Mobile Police Unit attacked a peaceful protest staged by the members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria in Kaduna, killing three people on the spot, while many sustained gunshot injuries.

“As usual with such protest conducted by the Muslim brothers, it started peacefully from the Layin Kosai area of Tudun Wada, Kaduna. However, when it reached Tudun Nupawa near Enugu Road, MOPOL, in about five vehicles, opened fire on the protesters.

“The protest was dispersed by the police by their sporadic shootings.

‘‘However, about nine police vehicles moved to Tudun Wada, where the Markaz (Islamic Centre) of the Muslim brothers is situated and opened fire on it, as if in continuation of what the Army started in Zaria over the weekend.

“Report reaching us said many were killed or wounded there also.

“Similar protests were held in Bauchi, Gombe, Kano and Gusau, and they all ended peacefully because no police were ordered to shoot the protesters.’’

Following the development, commercial banks and other financial institutions in the state as well as traders at the Sheik Abubakar Gumi Central Market hurriedly shut their shops for fear of what could happen later.

The Kaduna State Police Command, however, denied the claim by the sect that three of its members were killed during their protest in the Kaduna State capital on Tuesday.

The command’s Public Relations Officer, Mallam Zubairu Abdullahi, told one of our correspondents on the telephone that men of the command only repelled the sect, who attempted to attack the Tudun Wada Police Station in the early hours of the day.

He said, “We only repelled the sect members, who attempted to attack our station at Tudun-Wada. We did not use any dangerous weapon on them.

“We only used teargas to disperse them. Maybe in the process of dispersing them, they sustained injuries; I don’t know.

“We did not kill any member of the sect. I said we only used teargas on them. Where they got their figures from, I don’t know but we did not kill anyone. We only repelled them as they wanted to attack our station.”

When one of our correspondents contacted the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, he said the Nigerian Army was a professional, law abiding organisation and had taken the appropriate steps in the matter.

Usman added, “We have also reported the matter to the National Human Rights Commission; We are professionals and we have reported it to relevant agencies. I think we should wait for the outcome of the investigation.”

But a top military source, who confided in our correspondent, debunked the allegation of rights violation by the sect.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, contended that it would not be fair to stand on rights violation when the Chief of Army, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, was almost killed in Zaria on Saturday.

Iranian President calls Buhari over Zaria clash

The President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, on Tuesday called President Muhammadu Buhari over the clash in Zaria between the soldiers and the IMN, whose members are pro-Iranian Shiites, the Islamic News Agency reports.

Rouhani was said to have enquired about the care being provided for those injured in the clash and called on the Nigerian government to “relieve the entire bereaved families and injured victims of that disaster and to issue strict orders to prevent the occurrence of any further unrest.”

He called on Buhari to set up a committee to probe the clash, adding that Iran was ready to provide medical and relief teams to aid the victims.

Buhari was quoted as saying the Federal Government was determined to find the exact cause of the clash and take appropriate steps.


Written by:  Fidelix Soriwei, Afeez Hanafi and Godwin Isenyo

Source: Punch Nigeria


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