Shiites Vs Army/Police: Have You Heard What Saraki Said?
In the last three days, security personnel have battled with members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.
They had tried to stop the group from protesting.
What started as a march by the Shiites for the release of their leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky who has been in detention since 2015, turned into a violent scene.
The army said it killed only three members of the group that attacked a convoy taking ammunition to a location in Nigeria, but the group said over 50 of its members have been killed.
Meanwhile, the leader of Nigeria's parliament, Senator Bukola Saraki has made to requests from the warring parties:
1. Exercise Extreme Restraint
Protest started over the weekend and extended to Tuesday, with the Army sharing pictures of its personnel attacked by the protesters and the weapons they had on its Facebook page.
Saraki has been observing the development and on Tuesday, he called for restraint from both parties.
On his Facebook page, Dr. Saraki wrote: “From the reports I have received, the ongoing protest in Abuja is escalating — with significant loss of lives and damage to property.
“Right now, I call on the protesters and our security agents to exercise extreme restraint”.
2. Toe The Path Of Peace
The Senate President did not stop at demanding for restraint from the parties involved.
He also stressed the need for the IMN and security agencies to "toe the path of peace".
While different figures exceeding 50 have been released as the number of deaths recorded by the Shiites, the Nigeria Army said its troops killed only 3.
It said it troops deployed on routine duty at Kugbo/Karu bridge checkpoint of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were attacked by the Shiites at about 3:00pm on 29 October 2018.
The army also claimed that four of its troops were injured, describing the deaths as unfortunate.
It claimed that “the sect in massive numbers forced their way into the troops checkpoint after over running the Police Force.
“The Police withdrew to our own troops position to join efforts to repel them.
“They fired weapons at own troops, throwing bottle cannisters with fuel, large stones, catapults with dangerous objects and other dangerous items at troops causing bodily harm and stopping motorist movement, breaking their windscreen and causing heavy traffic.
"However, troops repelled the attack in conjunction with the Nigerian Police Force to stop the situation from further deteriorating.
"Unfortunately, during the encounter three members of the sect were killed while four soldiers sustained various degrees of injuries and are being treated at a military medical facility,” the Nigerian Army stated.
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