The Nigerian army says three members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) were killed after they attacked troops deployed to a checkpoint at Kugbo/Karu bridge in Abuja.The army said four soldiers were wounded in the altercation which took place on Monday.
The group however said that it recovered the bodies of sixteen of its members who were allegedly shot dead by soldiers on Monday. Spokesman of the group, Abdullahi Musa, saidsoldiers also took away unspecified number of corpses in their trucks.He added that many people sustained injuries during the clash.
The IMN members were conducting the Arbaeen Trek when the fracas occurred. The army, in a Facebook post last night, said the troops stationed at the checkpoint “repelled” the Shi’ites after they attacked them and police officers on duty.
Trouble reportedly started after security operatives formed a barricade at the city gate that borders the federal capital territoryand Nasarawa state.They tried to prevent the protesters from crossing into Mararaba/Nasarawa axis of the FCT but the Shi’ites stood their ground, resulting into a confrontation.
As a combined team of policemen and soldiers opened fire, the IMN members responded by hurling stones and petrol bombs at them. A similar incident in Kaduna state in December 2015 led to the arrest of Ibraheem el-Zakzaky, leader of the sect, and his wife.Zakzaky’s followers have been mounting pressure on the government to release him.