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Shiites vs Army ‘We did the right thing in Zaria,’ Commanding Officer says

Major General Oyebade made the comment on Thursday, December 24, 2015, while receiving members of the Human Rights Non-Violent Initiative.

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According to the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Mechanized Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, the army followed the necessary rules of engagement during the recent clash with Shiite Muslims in the Zaria area of the state.

Major General Oyebade made the comment on Thursday, December 24, 2015, while receiving members of the Human Rights Non-Violent Initiative, Daily Trust reports.

“We took actions according to the rules of engagement as soldiers were being attacked by the militant wing of the sect known as the Hurra’s. We know what it means to preserve life because the life of a human being is sacrosanct, but we have paid the supreme price to secure this country,” Oyebade said.

“My soldier was killed in the attack and many others were injured and are presently receiving treatment in hospital. During the cordon and search operation carried out in the residence of El-Zakzaky and two other strongholds of the Shiites, we tried to get in touch with Zakzaky to stop his members from attacking us, but some people who answered my call refused to let us talk to him,” he added.

Oyebade had earlier said that the army had been forced to attack the Shiites after it learned that they were planning a retaliation.

The clash between soldiers and the Shiites occurred after members of the group allegedly attempted to assassinate Buratai on December 12.

The situation escalated after soldiers surrounded the home of the group’s leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky and arrested him.

Human rights activists have condemned the attacks and called for a probe even as the Shiites claim that about a thousand members of the group were killed.

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Watch video of confrontation between soldiers and Shiites below:

Should Buratai be prosecuted over Zaria attacks?»

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