The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), says the Nigerian Police killed 15 of its members across the country while observing the Ashura procession.
According to the President of the IMN Media Forum, Ibrahim Musa, their members were killed during the annual procession in Kaduna, Bauchi, Gombe, Sokoto and Katsina States.
Musa explained in a statement that three Shi’ites were allegedly killed in Kaduna with 10 injured, while three others were killed in Azare local government area in Bauchi.
“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, 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.”
The statement further said one person was reportedly killed in Illela, while another individual was killed in Goronyo, both in Sokoto State.
Musa added that an IMN member was also murdered in Malumfashi, Katsina State, noting that several people sustained bullet wounds when the police allegedly shot the mourners, “not only during the 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 could rise due to the fatal gunshot wounds sustained by some members during processions in other parts of the country including 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 concluded.
Ashura is the tenth day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar. It marks the day that Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, was martyred in the Battle of Karbala.