Scores of persons have been killed following a violent clash between security agents and members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) popularly known as Shi’ite in Kano State on Monday.
The incident, which occurred at Tamburawa General area along Zaria Road, took place around 8.00am when hundreds of Shi’te embarked on an annual trekking to Zaria.
Sources who witnessed the incident said at least 10 people were killed and several injured after the state police opened fire during clashes with the pro-Iranian Shiites.
“The police arrived and started firing teargas canisters on the procession of Shiites to disperse them,” grocer Ilyasu Ammani told AFP.
“I saw 15 bodies sprawled on the ground before the police evacuated them,” said Ammani of the violence in Kwanar Dawaki, an area on the outskirts of Kano.
The police have since deployed heavily armed mobile officers to the area while the major Kano- Zaria road is completely blocked.
Speaking on the incident, in a statement, Ibrahim Musa, a spokesperson for the group, said:
“Soldiers mounted a check point at the outskirts of Potiskum, Yobe state, probably to stop members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) from leaving the town to join others in this year’s annual Arbaeen Trek to Zaria, mourning the martyrdom of Imam Husain (AS) scheduled to commence from Kano this week.”
“The soldiers detained a trailer carrying the personal belongings of those going to Kano for the trek today.
“Apparently, the soldiers have some sinister motives as they were overheard scheming to plant weapons in the luggage and thereafter claim that these bags with the weapons belong to members of the IMN.
“Throughout the nearly four decades of the existence of the IMN, it has never stockpiled, carried or used weapons. It never had any cause to, even in the face of provocation.
“IMN therefore wishes to alert the general public over this evil plot, and categorically reject and disown any attempt by the security services to plant any fake evidence against members of the Islamic Movement (IMN).”