One person has been confirmed dead and many others injured after members of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), popularly known as Shi’ites, clashed with security agents in Kaduna on Friday.
Daily Trust on Sunday reports that the incident occurred while the Shi’ites were on a procession to mark the annual Quds Day, usually marked with a procession on the last Friday of Ramadan to protest against Israeli occupation of Palestine.
Security agents who were stationed along major roads in Kaduna and Zaria had tried to disperse members of the group but the situation turned violent.
Eyewitnesses claimed security agents had used teargas and live ammunition on the protesters while some Shi’ites were alleged to have set ablaze, several vehicles in Zaria.
The IMN Amir in Kaduna, Aliyu Umar told Daily Trust on Sunday that the annual Quds Day is a global event and commemorated even in western countries, and wondered why they were frequently haunted by security agents when marking the day.
The Kaduna State police command did not respond to inquiries on what transpired with the Shi’ites, but a senior officer who asked to be anonymous told our correspondent that members of the proscribed sect had embarked on an unlawful procession and disturbing the public, as well as engaging in disobedience to lawful order.
He added that in an attempt to counter “their expected disobedience,” the police employed the use of minimal force, adding that the action of the Shi’ites had resulted to damage of public and private property.