Nigeria Army Planning To Attack Shias During Arba’een Ceremonies-Islamic Movement
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) says it has received information that the Nigerian army plans to attack processions scheduled for the mourning rituals of Arba’een.
The group’s spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, said on Tuesday that military intelligence officers had told the IMN that the attacks will be launched against processions scheduled for November 20 that marks 40 days after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein, the third Shia Imam.
Meanwhile, the London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission has called on Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the safety of mourners taking part in the procession.
Last month, at least 20 people were killed and several others injured when Nigerian forces opened fire at Shia mourners commemorating Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (Peace be upon him).
The Nigerian state of Kaduna also banned the IMN as the state crackdown against the Muslim community continues.
In December 2015, Nigerian forces raided the house of the IMN’s leader Shia Muslim cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky and arrested him after killing those attempting to protect him, including one of the movement’s senior leaders and its spokesman.
The raid occurred a day after Nigerian soldiers attacked Shia Muslims attending a ceremony at a religious center in the city of Zaria, accusing them of blocking the convoy of the army’s chief of staff and attempting to assassinate him.
On August 1, the Islamic Human Rights Commission released a report, saying the Nigerian army killed 348 Shia Muslims during the attack on the religious ceremony.