The Nigeria Army as well as other security operatives have clashed with members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shiite Muslims for the second day running in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The latest incident is the third within the space of one week involving Nigeria’s security forces and members of the Shiite movement who have been marching to protest the continued detention of their leader Sheik El-Zakzakky by the Nigerian Federal Government.
This latest protest by the Shiite coincided with the 2018 Arbaeen, a Muslim religious observance that occurs 40 days after the day of Ashura – another religious observance mostly celebrated by Shiites.
They marched from the Aguiyi Ironsi Road in the Maitama area through Wuse II before they were eventually stopped by the security operatives as they attempted to gain access into the central business district.
Operatives of the Nigeria Police tried to disperse the peaceful procession with violence, using teargas which resulted in more violence.
Earlier on Saturday, the group had clashed with personnel of the Nigerian Military in Zuba, a satellite town on the outskirt of Abuja; three people reportedly lost their lives in that encounter.
Two days later, the members of the Shiite group clashed again with soldiers, at the Nyanya axis of the FCT.
While various casualty figures were being reported in the media, the Nigeria Army released a statement saying three members of the Shiite group had been killed while four soldiers were injured during the incident.
It explained further that the Shiites had forced their way towards a checkpoint mounted by soldiers at the Kugbo/Karu bridge after having overrun the police.
The three members of the group were reportedly killed while the soldiers were trying to repel an attack on its men by members of the Shiite group.
Videos that surfaced on the internet showed crowds running before troops shooting live bullets straight at the fleeing Shiites.
Another video also surfaced showing the police shooting at protesters with tear gas clearly shown in the videos.