Two feared dead as police, Shi’ites clash in Kaduna

Aminu Abubakar/Agence France-Presse

Two members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria otherwise known as ‘Shi’ites’ were reportedly killed during a protest against the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, in Kaduna on Sunday.

Also, three persons were said to have been wounded and said to be receiving medical attention at an undisclosed hospital in the state.

However, the State Police Command confirmed that only two civilians were injured, adding that nobody died in the clash.

The spokesman for the police in the state, ASP Mukhtar Aliyu, said policemen were at the Leventis roundabout after receiving reports that the Shi’ites were about to embark on a protest march.

He noted that the police were on ground to disperse the protesters because of government ban on such protest in the state.

According to him, in the course of doing that however, there was an altercation between the protesters and the police.

He added that two civilians and one policeman were injured as a result of the disagreement.

Aliyu said the situation had been brought under control, adding that the police made some arrest.

However, Aliyu did not give the number of those arrested but said that they would soon be charged to court.

But the Shiites’ spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, confirmed that one person was killed while several others were injured.

“It has been confirmed that one person was killed and several others were injured by the police,” he said.

The Free Zakzaky Protests broke out in Kaduna along the Ahmadu Bello Way on Kano Road at 5pm on Sunday.

The police shot sporadically to disperse the protesters thus forcing motorists and other road users as well as residents to scamper into safety.

Our correspondents observed that some traders hurriedly locked up their shops and fled the scene for fear of stray bullets.

Earlier, Musa had issued a statement to explain that the processions were held in major towns of the North to protest their leader’s continued detention.

He added that their action became necessary in view of the deteriorating health condition of El-Zakzaky.

He said, “Free Zakzaky processions were carried out in major towns of northern Nigeria to press for the freedom of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky because of the news of his deteriorating state of health.

“Protests had taken place in Kaduna, Kano and Bauchi among several other places yesterday (on Saturday) night.”

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