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Confirmed Dead From Nigerian Army’s Clash With Shiite Muslims in Kaduna

Turi was reportedly killed in a shootout between members of his sect and Nigeria’s military.

A top leader of the group, Muhammadu Turi, had disclosed that head of the medical team of the sect, Mustapha Saidu and several others were killed during the operation.

According to the eyewitnesses, the area was cordoned off with security forces reported to have a heavy presence there.

The said the Nigerian Constitution guarantees the rights of any group of persons and Sheikh El Zak Zaky’s followers to hold a peaceful march or procession unhindered, but it also guarantees other people’s rights of way on public highways.

“We learnt that (Buratai) was visiting…newly graduated recruits and that coincided with our day of Changing of Flags, which we do annually”.

“As early as 12pm, the members of Shiite barricaded the road where the COAS was to pass to the depot”.

Ibrahim Usman, a spokesman for the Shi’ite group, said on Saturday that at least seven people were killed but that bodies were carted away by the military.

“The soldiers have killed many people here, possibly up to 20”, he said.

A report by Daily Trust Newspaper revealed that the sect’s leader in the state and the national spokesman Ibrahim Usman have been confirmed killed. “He is saying he does not care if he is killed too”.

There was no independent confirmation of the death toll, although army spokesman Colonel Sani Usman said Sunday evening there was “loss of lives”, without specifying numbers.

On Saturday, Shiite faithful blocked the main road outside their Husseiniyya religious centre, where hundreds had gathered for a ceremony.

“The Chief of Army escaped unhurt and continued with his duties”.

“In the mean time, there is no idea as to the where about of the leader of the Movement, Sayyid Ibraheem Zakzaky nor his current condition, and aggrieved members of the Movement across the country have taken to the streets in protests”.

The Islamic Movement has said its members were unarmed and that soldiers attacked its members in three different parts of Kaduna including Mr. Zakzaky’s home.

This is even as he called for calm among members of the movement.

“Similar occasion was previously carried out on the same spot with free traffic flow under the supervision of the movement’s traffic warders”.

“Soldiers in Nigerian Army Uniforms attacked Husainiyyah Baqiyattullah this afternoon and opened fire with life ammunition on beare (sic) handed brothers and sisters, killing and wounding many”.

Reports say the fate of al-Zakzaky and his wife remains unknown after the attack.

This follows the Nigerian army’s claim that the Islamic movement’s leader El-Zakyzaky, is attempting to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai.

He reiterated that what happened was not a clash, but a continuation of acts of terrorism by the Nigerian military on the movement, as was the case in the past.

Colonel Usman justified the military’s action to repel the attack.

“Kukasheka should know that, once bitten twice shy”.

Harun el-Binawi, a public affairs commentator and member of the Shia movement, also told Anadolu Agency that the Nigerian military had killed the cleric.

“Only Allah can protect us”, said al-Zakzaky.

There are indications that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen.

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