11 Die In Youths/Shiites Clashes In The North



Eleven people have reportedly died when angry youths clashed with members of the Shiites during the later’s procession in Kaduna, Katsina and Sokoto states.

Five persons were said to have died in Katsina State, four in Kaduna and 2 in Sokoto State, while several vehicles were burnt during the incident.

Eye witnesses said angry youths attacked and killed four suspected members of the Shi’a group in the Tudun Wada community, Kaduna South Local Government Area.

The mob also burnt down the house of the sect leader and demolished the Shiite’s Islamic school in the area.

This comes a day after security forces surrounded the Shiite ground in Kaduna, preventing the group from embarking on their planned annual procession.

One of the leaders of the sect said: “It’s the police that ordered the youths to attack us and to destroy our buildings.

“We shall address a press conference to give account of our encounter later.”

It was however reported that the group tried to address a press conference at the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, in Kaduna, but it couldn’t hold as all of the journalists went underground.

Mallam Bala said members of the Shiite group were not allowed into the community after they were dispersed by security agencies.

He said: “They were not in their traditional black dress, while being dispersed with police tear gas, but were being identified by vigilant youths who engaged them in a fight.

“Those who resisted were killed; the house of their leader Mukhtar was burnt down and their Markas (school) is currently being demolished by youths.”

He said fire service helped put out fire at Mukhtar’s house.

Another resident of the area, Bashir Sani, said the youth broke into the Shiite leader’s house, carted away valuables before setting the house ablaze.

“The Shiite members died of injuries sustained while being lynched with sticks and machetes,” he said.

Police spokesperson, Aliyu Muhammad, did not respond to calls and text messages.

Recall that there was a standoff between soldiers and members of the outlawed group, on Tuesday.

According to the UK-based Islamic Human Rights Commission, members of the sect had gathered to commemorate historical events associated with the Islamic month of Muharram that are particularly significant in the Shia calendar, before the gathering was encircled by armed troops.

The standoff ended later in the night after the troops withdrew.

Another resident said the presence of the Shiite group in the area posed a security risk for people living there.

“For me I will never support violence but Sahabi’s house here is risky for us.

“Every evening they gather at his house singing hate songs against the governor and Buhari and even none Shiite people,” he said.

In Katsina five people were reported dead in a clash between Shi’ites group and security agents in Funtua town.

    Reports say the clash started when the members of the group embarked on their Ashura procession marked by Shi’ites worldwide.

    The Katsina state police command, which had previously warned against unlawful processions in the state, attempted to stop them and violence broke out.

    Recall that in December2015 the Shiite group clashed with military personnel attached to the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, after they blocked a major road along which the Army chief was travelling and refused to leave the road.

    The clash led to the death of hundreds of the Shiites and the subsequent arrest of its leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky, who is still in custody till date.

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