- A major but sudden clash between members of the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria and the police has caused chaos in Kano
- While the Muslim group claims 20 of its members were killed, the police puts the figure at eight saying 10 were injured
At least 21 people have been reportedly killed in a clash that occurred between members of the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria and the police in Kano on Monday, November 14.
The casualty figure is said to have included 20 members of the group and a police sergeant whose identity is yet to be known.
However, the police commissioner in the state, Rabiu Yusuf, put the figure at nine including the police officer.
But according to a report by Vanguard, a survivor, Ali Dan’Ali, said: “At least 20 members of our group that included able bodied men, women and children were martyr by the police on our way Zaria.”
According to the police, the Muslim group attacked cars and other properties as they marched along prompting the police to be deployed to the area.
A police source said members of the group killed a police officer and injured three others, but the group said this was not true.
But Dan’ali said: "We came under attack by the police around Amana city, and several hundreds were injured in what appear a coordinated attempt to broke our procession and disrupted the historic trek."
In commissioner Yusuf's briefing, he said: "Thousands of Shi’ite members obstructed motorist and other road users free access to Kano-Kaduna express way.
"They also attacked innocent citizens, damaged public and personal property thereby causing mayhem that could lead to general disturbance of public peace in the state.
"A combined team of PMF, CTU, SARS and conventional police were deployed to restore peace came under attack.
"Shi’ite members who were armed with bow and arrow, catapult with metalbolts, cutlasses attacked the police team and killed a police sergeant, and critically injured others."
The police commissioner further said the members of the group snatched an AK47 riffle from a policeman, adding that the police recovered an AK 47 riffle.
He said normalcy had been restored, and therefore urged citizens to remain vigilant and report suspicious movements to nearest police station.
Premium Times reports that the clash happened around Tamburawa, located at kilometre 20, Kano-Zaria road and on the outskirts of the state.
It was learnt that the clash happened just as the police tried to stop a procession organised by the Shiites as part of a celebration.
Daily Mail quoted a witness, simply identified as Ammani, saying: "I saw 15 bodies sprawled on the ground before the police evacuated them."
Another witness, Kabiru Mudassir, told the medium he saw 10 bodies being taken away in a police van.
Mudassir, who reportedly was on his way to work when he was caught up in the clash, said more policemen had been deployed and a military jet keeps circling the area.
Daily Mail further reports that the Nigerian police claimed they opened fire on the crowd after one of their officers was hurt.
A police officer said: "They injured one of our officers and our men opened fire because they were becoming violent."
Daily Trust also reports that the Shiites were trekking for the annual Arbaeen symbolic trekking from Kano to Zaria Kaduna state Nigeria when the incident occurred.
Another report quoted Ibrahim Musa, president of the media forum of IMN, as saying the attack has led to the death of one trekker while others sustained various degrees of injuries.
There is fear that more casualties would be recorded.
The report added that the police has reinforced to the scene of the clash while the major Kano- Zaria road and adjoining areas have been blocked.
Soldiers have also reportedly mounted a check point at the outskirts of Potiskum, Yobe state, in order to frustrate any plan by members of the religious group to carry out similar trek to mourn the martyrdom of Imam Husain scheduled to commence from Kano this week.
The soldiers detained a trailer carrying the personal belongings of those going to Kano for the trek, the report said while Vanguard says the road-block has resulted in stranded commuters across the state.
The members of the Islamic organisation and the police have constantly clashed following protests by the former over the continued detention of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
A Nigerian journalist had recently revealed that the health condition of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) Ibrahim El-Zakzaky is still unknown.
Abdollah Idris, a deputy editor of Daily Trust newspaper in an interview with an Islamic news agency, Tasnim said there is no information on the health of the Shiite leader.