The Shiite sect has described as false, claims by the Nigerian Army, that its members tried to attack a convoy carrying ammunitions.
Three Shiite members were killedand two soldiers were wounded in a clash between members of the Shiite sect and soldiers around Zuba axis in Abuja.
According to reports, the clash occurred around noon on Saturday, October 27, 2018.
In a statement issued to Vanguard, the Commander Army Headquarters Garrison, Major General James Myam said “Troops of Army Headquarters Garrison on official duty, escorting ammunitions and missiles from Abuja to Army Central Ammunition Depot in Kaduna State were attacked by some members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) sect at Zuba bridge, of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) at about 3.00pm on Saturday 27th October 2018.
“The sect who were supposedly in a procession, established an illegal roadblock denying motorists free passage.
” When the troops’ convoy attempted to clear the road block, they met stiff opposition from the sect.
“Members of the sect used various objects to barricade the road and also pelted the troops with stones and other dangerous items.
“They smashed both military and civilian vehicles’ windscreens and windows.
“They also attempted to overrun the escorts to cart away the ammunition and missiles the troops were escorting.
“This led to the troops opening fire to extricate themselves.
“Consequently, troops of 102 Guards Battalion in whose Area of Responsibility the incident occurred rushed to the convoy’s rescue.
“Unfortunately, during the encounter 3 members of the sect were killed while 2 soldiers sustained various degrees of injuries and are being treated at a military medical facility.”
According to Daily Post, the spokesman of the Shiite sect, Ibrahim Musa said the Army lied to Nigerians just to justify the killing of their members.
Musa said they were on a peaceful procession when they were attacked by the Army.
The group’s spokesman also claims that there are video recordings of what happened.
Musa issued a statement saying “Our attention has been drawn to a false, unsubstantiated and mischievous press statement by the Nigerian army, signed by one Major General JAMES MYAM, the Commander Army Headquarters Garrison to justify the bestiality they meted the innocent, unarmed members of the Islamic Movement yesterday, while carrying out their solemn religious duty of Arbaeen mourning procession at Zuba.
“We categorically refute the storyline of the Nigerian Army. These age long worn-out malevolent storylines are no longer being believed by members of the public because over time, the Islamic Movement has convincingly demonstrated its peaceful disposition while conducting its religious obligations, even in the face of extreme official persecution.
“What was witnessed last Saturday was done in broad daylight and in full glare of the public. Video clips of both the procession prior to the unprovoked, brutal attacks and of the fierce attacks by soldiers at unarmed people scrambling for cover while the soldiers take deliberate steps to seek them and shoot them dead are all in the public domain.
“Therefore, the government and its Army cannot confuse members of the public by going further with their plans of campaign of calumny and false propaganda with a view to malign the Movement and its leadership.
“The public is led to believe that the government and its Army are resorting to these vicious campaigns in desperation. Yet, they would never wish away or bury their crimes against humanity.”
Members of the Shiite sect have been holding protests for the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
El-Zakzaky was arrested following a clash between Shiites and Soldiers in December 2015, when some of the sect members allegedly tried to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai.