Shiite Sect Claims Soldiers Deliberately Opened Fire, Accuse Military of Perpetuating Terrorism

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On Saturday, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, reportedly escaped an assassination attempt after members of the Muslim sect, Shiites allegedly attacked his convoy in Zaria, Kaduna State.

However members of the Shiites Islamic Sect has released a press statement detailing the circumstances of the attack.

The sect claimed that the soldiers attacked first aiming to disrupt their peaceful flag hoisting.

The statement which was signed by Ibrahim Usman read “At noon today, armed soldiers were seen in the precincts of Hussainiyyah Baqiyyatullah, Zaria, where members of the Islamic Movement were to carry out the hoisting of flag to usher in the new month of Maulud, the birth of the Holy Prophet of Islam.

“Similar occasion was previously carried out on the same spot with free traffic flow under the supervision of the Movement’s traffic warders.

“When some brothers met the soldiers to understand their mission of the soldiers was, they took position and opened fire indiscriminately, killed many and took away seven the casualty to an unknown location.

“Based on the foregoing, we believe that the military had pre-planned this and had acted according to their mischievous script. They came with their cameramen, videotaping the whole incidence while it lasted.

“What happened was never a clash, but a continuation of act of terrorism by the Nigerian military on the Movement, as was the case in the past. We are not surprised by this action, as there were reports spread by the same military the night before that the Shi’ites were to avenge their dead by hired thugs on Friday in Gabari, a village in Zaria.

“The same military also spread rumour that, the Shi’ites had killed soldiers, all in attempt to justify today’s dastardly act.”

Nigerian Army in a statement by Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, Acting Director Army, Public Relations, said the Shiite sect, on the orders of their leader, Ibrahim Yaqoub El Zakzaky, today (yesterday) afternoon in Zaria attacked the convoy of the Chief of the Army Staff while on his way to pay homage on the Emir of Zazzau and attend the passing out parade of 73 regular recruits intake of Depot Nigerian Army, Zaria.

The statement read “The sect members, numbering hundreds and carrying dangerous weapons, barricaded the roads with bonfires, heavy stones and tyres. They refused all entreaties to disperse and then started firing and pelting the convoy with dangerous objects.

“The barricade was obviously a deliberate attempt to assassinate the Chief of the Army Staff and members of his entourage while on a legitimate official assignment as Special Guest of Honour at the passing out parade which had earlier been widely publicized.”

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