Eyewitness gives account of Zaria killings, says sect members were armed

The man corroborated the account of the army that the goup members were armed and ready to attack the military convoy.

Before the massacre, the Nigerian Army dialogues with the protesting Shiite members.

A man who claimed to be at the scene of the fatal clash between Islamic group, Shiite and the Nigerian Army on Saturday, December 12, in Zaria, Kaduna State, has given an account of what transpired before the killings.

The unidentified eyewitness, according to Daily Trust, said the Shiite members blocked the road on the fateful days, preventing the army entourage from passing because they had killed two of their members the previous day.

"I was at the scene of the Shiite/Army clash shortly before it turned violent. I asked a Shiite member on the frontline why road blockage. He said to me that they are being attacked. That the previous night, two of their members were killed. So they are protesting.

Now contrary to the report by @daily_trust which @shianews313 picked, they did not block the roads in preparation for Maulud celebration", the eyewitness said.

He said, "they were carrying machetes and sticks & I tweeted almost immediately that it seems the Shiites are out for a revenge sort of.

Before I could get to the frontline, I saw a batch of army; about 20, returning (probably to clear the road before COAS comes to pass). When they denied every road users access, like many others, I switched to alternative route. Before I could get to my lodge, I heard gunshot. And the next 20-30mins was filled with sounds of gunshots. I had to quickly take my exit out of the GRA.

I am not justifying the massacre of the Shiites but to say they were not ready for violence is not a true representation of issues"

The army had however reportedly admitted that soldiers killed seven of the Shiite members and wounding 10 others - but the group insists dozens of their members were murdered in cold blood.

The international community, including the United States, the United Kingdom and Amnesty International have called for immediate probe into the incident, stressing that transparency should be a watchword in the investigation.

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