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Sunday, 13 December 2015

Nigerian Army, Shiites Muslim Sect In War Of Words Over Zaria Killings

Shiite Muslims Say Nigerian Soldiers Opened Fire At The Sect, Accuse Military Of Perpetuating Terrorism

On Saturday, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, reportedly escaped an assassination attempt after members of the Muslim sect, Shiites allegedly attacked his convoy in Zaria, Kaduna State.

However members of the Shiites Islamic Sect has released a press statement detailing the circumstances of the attack.

The sect claimed that the soldiers attacked first aiming to disrupt their peaceful flag hoisting.

The statement which was signed by Ibrahim Usman read “At noon today, armed soldiers were seen in the precincts of Hussainiyyah Baqiyyatullah, Zaria, where members of the Islamic Movement were to carry out the hoisting of flag to usher in the new month of Maulud, the birth of the Holy Prophet of Islam.

“Similar occasion was previously carried out on the same spot with free traffic flow under the supervision of the Movement’s traffic warders.

“When some brothers met the soldiers to understand their mission of the soldiers was, they took position and opened fire indiscriminately, killed many and took away seven the casualty to an unknown location.

“Based on the foregoing, we believe that the military had pre-planned this and had acted according to their mischievous script. They came with their cameramen, videotaping the whole incidence while it lasted.

Mr. Usman denied any attempt by sect members to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff at the orders of the Movement’s leader.

He stated, “Why was it that there were no casualty on the side of the military, if it were to be an assassination attempt by Kuka Sheka? What happened was never a clash, but a continuation of act[s] of terrorism by the Nigerian military on the Movement, as was the case in the past. We are not surprised by this action, as there were reports spread by the same military the night before that the Shi’ites were to avenge their dead by hired thugs on Friday in Gabari, a village in Zaria.

“The same military also spread rumor[s] that the Shi’ites had killed soldiers, all in [an] attempt to justify [yesterday’s] dastardly act.”

The spokesman stated that sect members could not have planned an attack against soldiers when the “2014 massacre of 34 members of the Islamic Movement, including three of Sheikh Zakzaky’s children by the military, the attempt on Sheikh Zakzaky’s convoy by the same military are still on our minds.”

He warned that no government could flourish with a trigger-happy military and security operatives “trained by CIA and Mossad.” He urged the Muhammadu Buhari administration to identify and punish the perpetrators of the attack, or risk the perception that “the government is condoning violence and terrorism on innocent citizens.”

Nigerian Army in a statement by Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, Acting Director Army, Public Relations, said the Shiite sect, on the orders of their leader, Ibrahim Yaqoub El Zakzaky, yesterday afternoon in Zaria attacked the convoy of the Chief of the Army Staff while on his way to pay homage on the Emir of Zazzau and attend the passing out parade of 73 regular recruits intake of Depot Nigerian Army, Zaria.

The statement read “The sect members, numbering hundreds and carrying dangerous weapons, barricaded the roads with bonfires, heavy stones and tyres. They refused all entreaties to disperse and then started firing and pelting the convoy with dangerous objects.

“The barricade was obviously a deliberate attempt to assassinate the Chief of the Army Staff and members of his entourage while on a legitimate official assignment as Special Guest of Honour at the passing out parade which had earlier been widely publicized.”

In a related development, Nigerian soldiers may have killed a wife and a son of Nigeria’s foremost Shiite leader, Sheik Ibraheem Zakzaky, in an ongoing military operation against the sect in Zaria, Kaduna State. Ibrahim Musa, President of the Media Forum of Islamic Movement of Nigeria, disclosed the killings in a statement released today.

SaharaReporters account was unable to independently confirm the news and a conversation with one of his sons who didn’t want to be named shows the Shia Sheik and his wife may still be alive.
Mr. Musa also claimed that the military destroyed the sect’s headquarters as well as the residence of the Shiite leader. According to him, Sheik Zakzaky’s whereabouts remain unknown.

Mr. Musa and another member of the sect, who spoke on condition of anonymity, declared that Nigerian troops were engaged in indiscriminate killing of members of the Islamic sect, with its headquarters in Zaria. They stated that soldiers had killed some prominent members of the Shiite sect as well as followers. Among the reported casualties were the leader of the group’s Kano Center, Sheikh Muhammad Turi, Mustapha Sa’eed, Ibrahim Usman, and a major female member, Jummai Gilima.

According to Mr. Musa’s statement, “The sporadic killings took place at three different locations that include the residence of the revered leader of the Movement at Gyallesu, the Husainiyya Bakiyatullah at the GRA and the Darur Rahma located along Zaria-Jos Road where many [unarmed] people were killed.

“The killing was so brutal at Gyallesu that even those injured in the shooting were identified and killed in cold blood by the soldiers. And as at the time of writing this press release, the victims run into their hundreds, if not thousands.

The gross violation of fundamental human rights and extra-judicial killings perpetrated by the Nigerian Army, the Islamic Movement hereby condemns these unjustifiable acts.”

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