The Kaduna state police command denied killing members of the Islamic movement of Nigeria (IMN) during its annual Ashura procession.
Latest Nigeria News reports that the IMN claimed that police killed three of its members and injured 10 others.
Reacting in a statement, Yakubu Sabo, a spokesman for the Kaduna state police command, accused the Shiites of attacking their men with stones, iron bolts and catapults during their procession to Kaduna.
He said that IMN members, who were singing slogans against the government, demanded the release of their leader and his wife who had been detained since December 2015.
”Today at about 0655hrs, we received an information that members of the outlawed Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) popularly known as Shiites came out en-mass along Nnamdi Azikiwe Expressway Kaduna and at Kasuwan Mata area of Zaria city respectively on procession in respect of the annual Ashura Day, blocking the public highways, causing traffic jam and molesting commuters,” he said.
“They were chanting slogans and demanding for the unconditional release of their spiritual leader Sheikh Ibrahim Elzakzaky, despite earlier warning by the command yesterday.
“It is on record that both the federal government of Nigeria and the government of Kaduna State have separately proscribed the group recently.
“Thus, teams of policemen quickly dispatched to the areas with a view to dispersing the unlawful assembly and to manage the traffic.
“However, on sighting the police, the protesters started throwing stones at them, hitting them with iron bolts using catapults. The situation became very tensed and members became violent and unruly.
“In view of these, therefore, minimum force was used in dispersing them. The command also wants to make it on record that, up to now, it has not formally received any report of death casualties as claimed by the proscribed group earlier today.”