Shiites’ protest rocks Abuja, army confirms killing three members

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Thousands of members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria stormed the Kubwa Expressway in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on Sunday, to demand the release of the group’s leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and to protest the killing of Shiites by the Nigerian Army. The Shiites blocked the Dutse and Galadima ends of the expressway, obstructing traffic for about two hours as they chanted solidarity songs and carried flags containing a deceased member and El-Zakzaky. The military, through the Army Headquarters Garrison on Sunday, confirmed that its soldiers shot dead three of the protesting Shiites in the Zuba area of Abuja on Saturday, after the protesters allegedly attacked the military convoy and pelted personnel with stones. The army said the Shiites “smashed both military and civilian vehicles’ windscreens and windows and they also attempted to overrun the escorts to cart away the ammunition and missiles the troops were escorting.” The army, in a release by the Garrison Commander, Maj Gen James Myam, said the troops opened fire to rescue the situation and three of the protesters were killed. The Islamic Movement, in a release by its Spokesperson, Abdullahi Musa, on Sunday, said its protest on the Abuja Expressway, was to report the atrocities of the army and to demand the release of Zakzaky and his wife. Musa said, “Residents of Abuja and some parts of Niger and Nasarawa states should please be informed that the followers of Sheikh Zakzaky are in Abuja to conduct Arbaeen symbolic trek. It commenced on Sunday and the followers would march en mass to Abuja. The public should recall the grave atrocities committed by the Nigerian Army during December 2015 Zaria massacre where hundreds of children were orphaned; many husbands and wives widowed and scores of Zakzaky’s disciples are still languishing in prisons.

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