- Title: Nigerian Shi'ites run from gunfire in Abuja procession
- Date: 28th September 2021
- Summary: ABUJA, NIGERIA (SEPTEMBER 28, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PROTESTER AND MEMBER OF THE ISLAMIC MOVEMENT IN NIGERIA (IMN) ABDULLAHI MOHAMMED WATCHING VIDEO PHONE SCREEN SHOWING INJURED MAN (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROTESTER AND MEMBER OF THE ISLAMIC MOVEMENT IN NIGERIA, ABDULLAHI MOHAMMED, SAYING: "We have finished, people were dispersing when the police and soldiers arrived. They started shooting tear gas then later on, they used live ammunition on us, majority females and children because most of the male have even left because they have already conducted prayers for us to disperse so this is what happened today. They attacked unarmed innocent women and children. They have killed about 10 people and so many people have run into the bush with so many gunshot injuries."
- Embargoed: 12th October 2021 17:50
- Keywords: El-Zakzay Shiites clash police protest protesters
- Location: ABUJA, NIGERIA
- City: ABUJA, NIGERIA
- Country: Nigeria
- Topics: Africa,Crime/Law/Justice
- Reuters ID: LVA002EWMVDJB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: CLIENTS PLEASE NOTE: QUALITY AS INCOMING
Members of a banned Shi'ite Muslim group fled the sounds of gunfire following a procession in the capital Abuja on Tuesday (September 28), eyewitness video showed, as Nigerian police denied killing the attendees while an eyewitnesses said up around 10 were killed.
A member of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) said security forces shot dead "about 10" Shi'ites who were taking part in a procession to mark the religious ritual of Arbaeen. Other memebers said eight were killed.
Nigerian police denied killing IMN members and said they had arrested 57 of them and recovered petrol bombs and bags of stones.
The Abuja police said they had intervened to stop the IMN members as they had been causing "unnecessary hardship to motorists" along the Abuja-Kubwa expressway.
The IMN was banned by the government in 2019 after protests against the detention of its leader. Security forces have opened fire at previous IMN events.
Abdullahi Muhamed, an IMN member, earlier told Reuters that participants were walking peacefully along the expressway when a combined team of police and soldiers fired tear gas and live bullets at them.
Videos and images posted on social media showed people running from what appeared to be clouds of tear gas. Reuters could not independently verify the material.
Muslims make up about half of Nigeria's population of 200 million. The overwhelming majority of them are Sunnis, and the small Shi'ite minority have long complained of discrimination and repression.
The IMN leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky, was released from detention after being acquitted in July of eight criminal charges including aiding and abetting homicide, unlawful assembly and disruption of public peace.
Zakzaky and his wife had been in detention since 2015, when they were arrested after a clash in which the army killed an estimated 350 people at an IMN compound and a nearby mosque and burial ground in the northern state of Kaduna.
(Production: Abraham Archiga, Nneka Chile, Afolabi Sotunde, Eleanor Whalley)
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