It has been confirmed that at least three people have been killed when police opened fire on supporters of a pro-Iranian Shiite Muslim group during an annual religious procession in Kano State, on Sunday, November 5.
The shooting took place while the Shi’ite group known as the Islamic Movement of Nigeria marked an annual ceremony, Ashura, commemorating the death of Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed.
As is tradition among the Shi’ite group in Nigeria who are mainly Sunni Muslims, they normally converge in Kano, Kano State for a long walk or procession to Zaria in neighboring Kaduna Sate where their leader, the currently detained Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, had his headquarters.
According to an eyewitness account, –
“When the procession by the IMN adherents moved towards Zaria Road, the police began firing tear gas followed by live bullets.
Many people were hit and at least three people were believed to have been killed.”
However, the police command in Kano has come out to say that the IMN statement was baseless, mischievous and aimed at diverting the attention of the populace to gain cheap sympathy.
The police spokesman Magaji Musa Majia claimed that the Shi’ite group had been told not to hold the march but they ignored the warning and embarked on the march molesting and harassing motorists and throwing stones to innocent members of the public along the road.
He said that the command only dispersed the group by using minimum force and that no live ammunition was used whatsoever.
He however failed to state how the three Shi’ite members that reportedly died lost their lives.
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