TEHRAN (Press Shia) – The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) said the country’s security forces killed 12 of its members and wounded 10 others during marches in the north of country on the day of Ashura to commemorate the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS) and his companions.

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IMN spokesman Ibrahim Musa said the Shiite mourners were killed in the northern states of Kaduna, Bauchi, Gombe, Sokoto, and Katsina on Tuesday.

“The Islamic Movement in Nigeria has confirmed the killing of at least a dozen Ashura mourners across the nation during the peaceful Ashura mourning procession today,” said Musa, according to the official website of the movement. 

The Muslims were mourning the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS), along with his 72 companions in the Battle of Karbala, in southern Iraq, in 680 AD after fighting courageously for justice against thousands of soldiers of the Umayyad caliph, Yazid.

Citing its sources, the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) said last week that the Nigerian police were preparing to prevent and disrupt the processions.

The Nigerian government has banned the IMN and incarcerated its leader Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky.

Nigeria’s military attacked the movement’s members in 2015 as they were holding religious processions, with Abuja alleging that the Muslims had blocked a convoy of the country’s defense minister. The movement has categorically rejected the allegation, and said the convoy had intentionally crossed paths with the IMN’s members to create an excuse to attack them.