The Islamic Movement in Nigeria yesterday held its Ashura mourning procession at Wuse in Abuja and some northern states, in defiance of the police.
In Abuja, the procession was held for just about 30 minutes as members of the group brought it to an abrupt end to avoid a clash with security operatives.
The leader of Shia group in Katsina Sheik Yakubu Yahya said one of their member was killed in Malumfashi town and 20 others injured with many arrested by police during the Ashura procession yesterday.
He alleged that police officers attacked them.
But the spokesman of the state police command, SP Gambo Isah, said the command would not fold its arms and watch the violent protests being carried out by the group “with impunity infringing on the rights of other citizens of the state.
“Consequently, the command has succeeded in arresting 36 members of the prescribed Zakzaky led IMN embarking on protest in furtherance of Terrorism. One Police officer was seriously injured by the group at Malumfashi LGA. Suspects will be arraigned in court immediately”.
There were reported clashes between Shiite members and police in Funtua, Malumfashi and Katsina towns.
The group also alleged that three of its members were killed and others injured in Bakin Ruwa area, along the Nnamdi Azikiwe Expressway, Kaduna yesterday.
One of the IMN’s leaders, Aliyu Umar alleged the police attacked them while observing their religious right of Ashura mourning.
But the Police Public Relations Officer DSP Yakubu Sabo described the allegation as false and mischievous saying, no one was killed.
He said: “The police relied on intelligence report and quickly moved to the scene to disperse the gathering of IMN members.”
Our correspondents report that shiites yesterday observed Ashura mourning procession peacefully in Damaturu and Potiskum, Yobe State.
Leader of Shia in Nasarawa state, Muhammad Ibrahim Gamawa said the Ashura procession in Lafia was peaceful.
Shiites’ spokesman in Bauchi, Musa Boyi Mohammed, said four of his members were shot dead in Bauchi; while another person died in Azare.
“We have four of our members that were shot dead. About 25 who also sustained various injuries are with the police now. One person was also shot dead in Azare,” he said.
However, the Bauchi State Police Command’s spokesperson, DSP Kamal Datti Abubakar, said nobody was shot dead.
“We only came out to prevent them from holding the procession and maintain law and order. We have arrested 25 members of the group. “It is not true that somebody was killed. If anybody is killed, there must be a proof. People would have seen the dead bodies,” he said.