Sola Ojo, Kaduna
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has said the police killed three of its members during a procession in Kaduna State, yesterday.
The police had warned the proscribed group against embarking on activities they described as ”an act of advancement of terrorism.”
But the Shi’ite group defied the warning of the police and embarked on processions across the country, though the movement said it was marking ”Ashura” a religious obligation.
The attack reportedly took place at Bakin Ruwa, Rigasa axis of Nnamdi Azikiwe bypass, Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
A leader of IMN, Aliyu Umar told Daily Sun that several members of the Shi’ite islamic sect sustained injuries from gun shots as police attempted to disperse the gathering.
“What happened to us this morning was not a clash. It was an attack on armless members of IMN. We were observing an invent in our Islamic calendar which is called Ashura mourning as a procession as we normally do,” said Aliyu.
“We were on our way to observe this procession. We were peaceful, when policemen attacked us, shooting at us with live bullets, and killing three people while so many were wounded,” he added.
Media coordinator of the IMN, Yahaya Muhammed ,confirmed that three persons, including a minor was killed in Kaduna while they were observing the religious ritual.
“Three persons were killed in Kaduna, including a minor. In Abuja it (the procession) was peaceful because the police could not stop us.
In Gombe, there was shooting one person was confirmed dead. In Azare local government (area) in Bauchi one person was confirmed dead,” Muhammed said.
Police spokesman in Kaduna, DSP Yakubu Sabo, however, described the allegation as false, unfounded and an attempt to attract sympathy and create fear in the minds of residents in the state.
Said Sabo: “You remember we warned yesterday that Police would not allow anybody under any guise to stage any protest in Kaduna, and they ignored the warning. We received information that a number of them were sighted along bypass, Bakin Ruwa axis in Rigasa.
“Our men were there to disperse them and we did that professionally. Based on our report, there was no casualty as they claim; police did not kill anybody.
We only dispersed them based on the information we had at our disposal,” said Sabo.
The Inspector General of Police, Muhammad Adamu, had a day earlier, directed all the Commissioners of Police across the country, to prevent any form of procession by members of the proscribed IMN.