The Nigerian Army engaged the Shiites in a battle after they allegedly attempted to assassinate Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai.
Nigeria’s military police have insisted that some members of the Shiite sect attempted to assassinate Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai in Zaria, Kaduna State on Saturday, December 12, 2015.
The Nigerian Army engaged the Shiites in a battle after the supposed attempt on Buratai’s life.
The report has however been denied by the sect which says the killing of its members by the army was unwarranted and unjustified.
According to The Associated Press, a report from the military police said some Shiites were crawling through tall grass towards Buratai's vehicle “with the intent to attack the vehicle with (a) petrol bomb” while others "suddenly resorted to firing gunshots from the direction of the mosque.”
Buratai also confirmed, while speaking to journalists on December 14, that there was an attempt on his life.
“You want to know how I escaped? It was by the will of God that I was able to escape from that place,” he said.
“I think NTA was there and they aired the clip, it was very clear. They were violent. Definitely this is very clear. The clips are there. That was what happened,” he added.
A video of the incident has surfaced and it shows the Shiites refusing to allow Buratai’s convoy to pass a road despite pleas from senior army officers.
The conflict between the Shiites and the army escalated after soldiers surrounded the home of leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky on Saturday.
The resulting gunfight is said to have led to the deaths of Zakzaky’s son and the group’s Second-in-Command, Sheik Muhammad Turi.
Zakzaky himself has been arrested by the army while the group claims that 500 of its members were killed during the attacks.
Watch video of confrontation between Shiites and soldiers below: