There was a clash yesterday in Kano between the Nigerian police force and the Shiite Muslims. The violent encounter saw the death of at least 9 people and several others injured.
While the Nigerian police say that the death toll is at 9, including a police man, while the Shiite Muslims say it was up to 20 dead Muslim members and 1 police man.
A Shiite Muslim Survivor said:
“At least 20 members of our group that included able bodied men, women and children were martyr by the police on our way Zaria.”
The clash is said to have happened at Kwanar Dawaki, outskirts of Kano State, Nigeria.
Report says that thousands of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) were conducting a march from Kano to Zaria, Kaduna in commemoration of the Ashura religious day of mourning.
The police commissioner for Kano State, Rabiu Yusuf, stated that the group had become violent before they moved back to back with them.
In his briefing he said that the group whom were armed with matchetes, bows and arrows were obstructing the roads, attacking citizens and damaging cars and properties.
“Thousands of Shi’ite members obstructed motorist and other road users free access to Kano-Kaduna express way.”
“They also attacked innocent citizens, damaged public and personal property thereby causing mayhem that could lead to general disturbance of public peace in the state.”
At that point the Police force was deployed to the area to ensure sanity. Rabiu says that a team of various security agencies were deployed only to be attacked by the Shiite Muslims on procession.
“Shi’ite members who were armed with bow and arrow, catapult with metalbolts, cutlasses attacked the police team and killed a police sergeant, and critically injured others.”
Rabiu admits that they first had to use tear gas on them but the group was all the more violent; injuring one of them. So they had to resort to the use of ammunition to face them.
Just last month, Kaduna State government declared the annual procession as unlawful. The government noted that the march threatened the peace of the society and placed a ban on it; with the result that convicted members of the group could face about 7-years imprisonment.
The leader of the group, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, has been in detention since December 2015, following the clashes with the army in Zaria. The clash is believed to have claimed the lives of 347 IMN members.