The IMN claimed 12 of its members were killed during a procession across Nigeria today. The Shiites were embarking on their annual religious rite, Ashura, across many states in Nigeria.
Spokesperson of the IMN, Ibrahim Musa, in a statement this afternoon claimed the killings took place after Ashura mourners were attacked in Kaduna, Bauchi, Sokoto and Katsina states. However, he said similar processions in Abuja, Jos, Kebbi, Minna, Lafia, Yola, Gusau, Zaria, Kano, Jalingo, Damaturu, Hadejia and Potiskum, ended peacefully.
Ashura, is a Shiite mourning period in commemoration of the killing of Imam Hussein, a grandson of Prophet Muhammad. It is observed on the 10th day of the first month of Islamic lunar calendar, Muharr.
The police had said in a statement on Tuesday that it would treat the planned procession as “a gathering in advancement of terrorism”.
The police’s warning on the Ashura gathering followed the proscription of the IMN by the Nigerian government and its designation as a terrorist organisation.
The police however denied the allegations.
If confirmed, the 12 will add to hundreds of IMN members killed since December 2015 after the Shiites blocked a public road.