The ongoing clash between the Nigeria Army and the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, popularly known as the Shi’ite movement, took a more dangerous dimension as soldiers yesterday raided the residence of the Shi’ite leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and arrested him.
Insiders within the Islamic sect told the public that Zakzaky’s wife, Malama Zeenat; his son, Sayyid Aliyu, and over 300 members of the Shi’ite, including senior members, were killed by the soldiers.
Others killed by the troops, according to the president of Media Forum of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim Musa, in the over 24-hour long raid, included the leader of the Kano Centre and Zakzaky’s deputy, Sheikh Muhammad Mahmud Turi; the movement’s medical director, Dr Mustapha Sa’eed; the spokesman of the group, Malam Ibrahim Usman, and a top female leader of the group, Jummai Gilima.
The private house of Sheikh Zakzaky as well as the sect’s headquarters along Sokoto road, Zaria, was also demolished and razed by the army troops in a counter-attack said to have been ignited by the alleged blockade of the route of the chief of army staff, Major General Tukur Buratai.
According to sources at the scene of the bloody clash, the killings took place at three different locations: the residence of the revered leader of the Movement at Gyallesu; the Husainiyya Bakiyatullah at the GRA, and the Darur Rahma located along Zaria-Jos road where many unarmed people were killed.
Soldiers were brutally merciless in killing our members – Shi’ite Group
The Shi’ite group told our correspondent yesterday that the killings were so brutal at Gyallesu that even those injured in the shooting were identified and mercilessly killed in cold blood by the soldiers.
The group’s spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, said, “And as at the time of writing this press release, the victims run into their hundreds, if not thousands.”
“Considering the gross violation of fundamental human rights and extrajudicial killings perpetrated by the Nigerian Army, the Islamic Movement hereby condemns these unjustifiable acts.
“We state categorically that the claim by the Army that members of the Movement attempted of assassinate the chief of army staff was a blatant lie as the Army came back to launch their attack more than an hour after the COAS had passed.
“Clearly, the Nigerian government, through its military, is now on rampage, in an all-out war with the Islamic Movement, its members and structures. The scale of this attack would suggest it was meticulously planned by authorities and is now being executed ruthlessly. The alleged attack on COAS Burutai was just an alibi.
“Therefore, with all pointers at the government as the contractor of the killings, we hereby call on well-meaning Nigerians and the international community to intervene and seek redress for the victims and their family members as many innocent people were being killed and many others severely injured.”
On the whereabouts of their leader, the group said: “There is no idea as to the whereabouts of the leader of the Movement, Sayyid Ibraheem Zakzaky, nor his current condition.”
Our checks revealed that, in Zaria, that the action to raze the two places to the ground commenced on Saturday night.
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