– The Shiites claimed that the police killed up to 100 of their members and plan to bury them in a mass grave
– The spokesman of the group appealed to security agencies to release the dead bodies of the IMN members
– This incident came almost a year after Zaria massacre that took lives up to 300 IMN followers in 2015
The members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) have supposed that the police is planning to bury its members killed on November 14 in a mass grave.
According to police, 21 people were killed and several wounded on November 14, Monday when Nigerian police opened fire during clashes with Shiites outside northern Kano.
The incident occurred when police tried to disperse thousands of members of the movement marching from Kano in Kano state, to Zaria in Kaduna state for the Ashura festival.
The Shiites in a statement issued by its spokesman Ibrahim Musa, asked security personnel to release the corpses of its dead members.
READ ALSO: Again, Shiite members clash with police killing 21
The statement reads in part: “Well armed policemen in close to a hundred police trucks today 14/11/16, opened fire on the peaceful Arbaeen trek to Zaria in the outskirts of Kano metropolis, killing close to a hundred members of the Islamic movement (IMN), including women and children.
“Exact number of those killed or maimed by police bullets is still being ascertained since most of the corpses were again ferried away by the police possibly for mass burial.
“We also call on the police authorities to hand over to us our dead. They must not be buried in a mass grave like was done by their counterpart in Kaduna state,it is a crime against humanity.”
Mr Musa further clarified that the march, which the police had tried to stop, had been organised in an orderly manner over the years.
“Because of the massive turnout, the trek continued and when IMN members reached a neighbourhood called Kwanar Dawaki, about five Kilometres from Kano, police opened fire on the trekkers with live ammunition. The firing by the police was randomly carried out. It also hit their colleague, and we are not unmindful of possibility that they would claim we did it,” he added.
“Their antecedents and evil schemes are glaring. Already, they have engaged the services of unscrupulous paid agents to push down the throats of the public that it was ‘clash’ or even ‘exchange of fire’ through falsified news reports. What vindicates us however is the very peaceful conduct of previous and present treks.
“The World bears witness to our peaceful conduct in the face of persecution. No one can simply attribute violence to us overnight. We learnt of the attack as it was being plotted and we exposed it much earlier. That the security forces brazenly executed it in broad daylight only further exposes who actually are the assailants.
READ ALSO: Shi’ites claim security operatives plan to carry out massacre
“IMN is left bewildered as to why it is now criminal for some people to choose to trek to a certain town of their wish on foot, while not impeding the smooth flow of traffic along the highway. We view the unwarranted killings by the police as continuation of the army pogrom started in Zaria last year.
“We hereby call on the governor of Kano state not to turn the recently peaceful atmosphere enjoyed in the state into one where innocent lives are being shed on the slightest excuse.”
In December last year the members of the IMN fought against soldiers for two days in the city of Zaria.
The fighting left over 300 Shiites dead while their leader Ibrahim Zakzaky was left partially paralysed and blind in one eye in custody of the DSS.