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Outlawed Shiite Sect Clashes With Police, Many Feared Killed

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More than a dozen people, including a police officer were feared killed when members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, clashed with the police in Kano on Monday.

Witnesses say the clash started around Tamburawa, on the outskirts of Kano city, when the police tried to stop a Shiite protest.

The police have since deployed heavily armed mobile police officers to the area while the Kano- Zaria road is completely cordoned off.

Details of this recent clash with security agencies are still hazy as at the time of this report, but the Shiite Islamic sect on Sunday complained that soldiers were blocking its members who were travelling to Zaria for a function, while also planting weapons on them.

Spokesman of the group, Ibrahim Musa said in a statement that “Soldiers mounted a check point at the outskirts of Potiskum, Yobe state, probably to stop members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) from leaving the town to join others in this year’s annual Arbaeen Trek to Zaria, mourning the martyrdom of Imam Husain (AS) scheduled to commence from Kano this week.”

The statement added that: “The soldiers detained a trailer carrying the personal belongings of those going to Kano for the trek today.

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“Apparently, the soldiers have some sinister motives as they were overheard scheming to plant weapons in the luggage and thereafter claim that these bags with the weapons belong to members of the IMN.

“Throughout the nearly four decades of the existence of the IMN, it has never stockpiled, carried or used weapons. It never had any cause to, even in the face of provocation.

“IMN therefore wishes to alert the general public over this evil plot, and categorically reject and disown any attempt by the security services to plant any fake evidence against members of the Islamic Movement (IMN).”

Recall that members of the IMN had a similar clash with men of the Nigerian army in December 2015, leading to the death of hundreds of members of the group.

Leader of the group, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, has remained in custody since then; there are reports that he is being treated of gunshot wounds sustained during the clash with soldiers.

Last month, the Kaduna State Government declared the IMN as an unlawful organization following reports of a panel of investigation into the crisis.

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