TEHRAN (Press Shia) – At least 10 Nigerian Shiite Muslims have been killed after the security forces raided an Arbaeen mourning procession in Zuba, in Gwagwalada area of the capital Abuja.
Nigerian social media activists reported that scores of people had been killed and injured after Nigerian security forces opened fire at Muslim worshipers gathering for procession in Zuba.
Those killed in the attack were members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), a group that has been subject to a harsh government crackdown over the past three years.
Local media said the Muslim worshipers had gathered near Abuja from Suleja, in Niger state, for a three-day procession to commemorate the annual Arbaeen occasion, which marks the 40th day after the death anniversary of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson (PBUH).
IMN said in an statement that the military opened fire without any provocation from the side of the marchers.
“The Movement vehemently condemns the action of the security agents, as unwarranted, since the march has been peaceful,” said the statement, adding, “In fact, the procession was being rounded up for the day, when soldiers opened fire at the peaceful marchers without any provocation whatsoever”.
Nigeria’s crackdown on IMN followers began in December 2015 when the army attacked a religious ceremony in the city of Zaria in the northern Nigeria. Nigerian forces later raided the house of IMN leader Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky and arrested him after killing his children and followers.
IMN sources said the group will go ahead with plans for “Arbaeen Symbolic Trek” as of Sunday despite police refusal to allow them through the military checkpoint near Zuma motor park earlier in the day. The group expects that more than a million will turn up at the march.