Four killed as youth attack Shiites in Kaduna

Irate youths in Tudun Wada community in Kaduna South Local Government Area and Angu­wan Rogo in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State, on Wednesday attacked and killed four members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shi’ites.

They burnt the residence of the sect’s leader in Kaduna and the group’s property in Plateau.

The mob also destroyed
the Shiite’s Islamic school in Kaduna.

Prior to the attack, the Kaduna State government had banned the sect, which forced security operatives to clamp­down on the IMN members.

In a reaction to the development, some Shi’ites’ leaders accused the police of masterminding the attacks by the youths. They confirmed that the youths destroyed their buildings in the two states.

The group’s attempt to address a press conference at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Secretariat was allegedly frustrated by the police.

The angry youths allegedly stopped the Shi’ite members from entering their communities after they were dispersed by the police teargas.

A resident of the area, who sought anonymity, alleged that the mob broke into the Shi’ite leader’s house, carted away valuables before setting it on fire.

According to him, the victims died from injuries inflicted on them by the mob.

Another source said that the Shi’ites had on Tuesday gathered to mark the Islamic month of Muharram that its significant in the sect calendar when soldiers swooped on them.

Only last December, hundreds of Shi’ites were killed during a clash with soldiers in Zaria. Their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim ZakZaky, who was injured during the incident, is still under police custody.

Agency reports quoted the police as confirming yesterday’s burning of the Shi’ite leader, Mutari Sahabi’s home in Kaduna, adding that they had gathered to commemorate the killing of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Hussein in 680 AD in modern day Iraq.

In the Wednesday’s attack, which is seen as being fuelled by the soldiers’ onslaught on the Shi’ites on Tuesday, about 100 members of the sect were allegedly rescued by the police.

Most Muslims in the affected area belong to the rival Sunni sect. The two groups sharply disagree over Hussein’s death, often leading to clashes during the annual Shi’ite organised commemorations held on what is known in Islam as the Day of Ashura.

The spokesman of the Kaduna Police Command, Aliyu Usman, said security operatives have been stationed in the area and other flashpoints to ensure law and order.

When contacted, the spokesman of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), Captain Ikedichi Iweha, said the attack was a mob action but stated that men of the taskforce were able to put out the fire.
 

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