Five feared killed as soldiers, Shiites clash in Abuja


A procession by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, the umbrella Shiite group in Nigeria, yesterday, turned deadly when they clashed with armed soldiers at Zuba, Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Five members of the group were allegedly killed during the confrontation.
The Director of Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen. Texas Chukwu, said last night that he had no information on any killing as he was in Biu, Borno State, on official assignment.
The Shittes who were all dressed in black were marching from Suleja, Niger State to the capital city when things got out of hand.
They were to join their counterparts from other parts of the country in Abuja for a three-day mass march -Arbaeen Symbolic Trek- scheduled to commence today.

The Abuja march was also intended to demand the release of their leader, Shiikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, from security detention.
An eye witness revealed that trouble started yesterday when the Shittes got to a security check point at Dan Kogi, Zuba, where the soldiers there asked them to turn back.
The Shittes refused and some of them allegedly began pelting the soldiers with stones.
The military men responded by opening fire which allegedly killed five of the men.
The source said: “The Shittes members were not perturbed by the death of five of them.
“They then began to block the highway, causing a massive traffic jam.”
A reinforcement of soldiers soon came from nearby Dei Dei, Dakwa and Zuba and they succeeded in dispersing the Shittes.
While, the confusion lasted, motorists, commuters and passers- by ran helter skelter for the safety of their lives.
Traders in the vicinity quickly shut their shops and took to their heels.
In a statement moment after the clash, the IMN said soldiers killed at least two of its members at Zuba.
The President, Media Forum of IMN, Mallam Ibrahim Musa who signed the statement said: “The army went away with the corpse of one of the victims, but the other victim’s corpse has been identified as Abdul’aziz Maigana, who until his demise was with the members of the Islamic Movement in Suleja.