Shi’ites clash with soldiers, police in Abuja, allege eight members killed
EIGHT persons were feared dead on Tuesday in Abuja during a confrontation between the Islamic Movement of Nigeria popularity called Shi’ites and security agencies after a procession by the Shi’ites.
The police said a total of 57 suspects; 39 males and 18 females, were arrested and currently being profiled at the State Criminal Investigations Department of the FCT Police Command.
The police said a golf vehicle, flags, petrol bombs, weapons, mobile phones, charms, were recovered as exhibits.
The Shi’ite members were said to have embarked on Arbaeen Symbolic Trek, an annual event to mark the fortieth day of the murder of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad who was killed on 10th Muharram when the clash occurred.
The incident, which occurred at Gwarinpa gate, near Galadimawa, along Kubwa expressway, caused panic as residents and motorists scamper for safety.
While IMN alleged that eight persons were killed, the police denied it.
The Secretary, Academic Forum of IMN, Abdullahi Musa, during a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday evening, said they were allegedly attacked by a combined team of operatives of the Army, Police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
While threatening to seek redress in court over the incident, he put the number of persons reportedly killed at eight.
He said, “The perpetrators must be brought to book; we will go to court. We started yesterday (Monday), it ended peacefully. Today (Tuesday) being the last day, we came out to conclude the trekking.
“We started from Gwarinpa Model City gate around 9am; we marched down to Gwarimpa main bus-stop, and that is where we terminated the trekking and everything was over.
“Closing prayer had been recited and people have started dispersing. Unfortunately, a combination of police and soldiers arrived around 10am. The soldiers were behind the police; they started shooting teargas, while the soldiers started shooting live bullets.
“The brutality they meted out was of different level. First, they doused people with tear-gas, started shooting live ammunition, gunning down many. Eight were confirmed dead, tens of scores injured and numerous arrested.
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