No Shi’ite was killed during Abuja procession — Police

Shiites protest for Zakzaky

The police in Abuja have denied killing members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria alias Shi’ites during a gathering at the capital.

Members of the group had earlier said security forces shot dead eight Shi’ites who were taking part in a procession on Tuesday to mark the religious ritual of Arbaeen.

An IMN member Abdullahi Muhamed told Reuters that participants were walking peacefully along the expressway when a combined team of police and soldiers fired tear gas and live bullets at them.

But the Force said in a statement that there was no casualty, adding that 57 of them were arrested while petrol bombs and bags of stones were recovered.

The police said they had intervened to stop the IMN members as they had been causing “unnecessary hardship to motorists” along the Abuja-Kubwa expressway.

“The miscreants attacked the security forces with petrol bombs, (and) weapons including stones, but were adequately rounded up by the security teams without any casualty,” the force said in a statement.

The Nigerian government banned IMN in 2019 after protests against the detention of its leader Ibrahim Zakzaky. Security forces have opened fire at previous IMN events.