Adelani Adepegba, Abuja
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria has said that at least 12 of its members were killed across the country by the Police while observing the Ashura mourning procession on Tuesday.
They were allegedly killed during the procession in Kaduna, Bauchi, Gombe, Sokoto and Katsina states.
President of IMN Media Forum, Ibrahim Musa, explained in a statement that three Shi’ites were allegedly killed in Kaduna and 10 injured, while three others were also killed in Azare, Bauchi State.
He said, “At least, three people were confirmed killed by the police in Kaduna and 10 others injured, some fatally, when thousands of Muslim brothers and sisters trooped out in the early hours of Tuesday commemorating the tragic events of Ashura.
“In Bauchi, reports also have it that three persons were killed during the Ashura procession when the police attacked the mourners. Likewise, three others were killed by the police in Azare, also in Bauchi state. Another three persons were killed by the police in Gombe, Gombe State.”
The statement further said one person was reportedly killed in Illela, while another individual was killed in Goronyo, all in Sokoto State.
It added that an IMN member was also murdered in Malumfashi, Katsina State, noting that several people sustained bullet wounds when the police allegedly fired on the mourners, “not only during the mourning procession, but afterwards as the well armed policemen attempted to forcibly make their way into the Islamic centre of the movement.”
The sect said the figures may rise due to the fatal gunshot wounds sustained by some mourners.
It stated that the procession was peaceful in Abuja, Jos, Kebbi, Minna, Lafia, Yola, Gusau, Zaria, Kano, Jalingo, Damaturu, Hadejia and Potiskum.
“That the mourning procession ended peacefully in places not attacked by the police is sufficient evidence as to who the instigators of violence are whenever we are carrying out our legitimate religious duties,” Musa said.
The force spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, declined to comment, saying inquiries about the alleged attacks should be directed to the public relations officers of the respective commands where the incidents occurred.