Nigerian police shot dead a two-year-old girl - Shiites | Nigeria News Today. Your online Nigerian Newspaper

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A pro-Iranian Shiite group alleged on Tuesday that Nigerian police had shot dead a two-year-old girl after firing into a crowd during a religious procession in the northern city of Kano.



A leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and procession organiser Sanusi Abdulkadir said police had opened fire on thousands of people without provocation and took away corpses from the hospital.

Clashes broke out on Monday in the outskirts of Kano between police and members of the IMN taking part in an annual 130-kilometre walk to the city of Zaria to mark the Ashura religious festival.

“They (police) began by throwing teargas canisters and minutes later started firing live bullets, injuring and killing several people”, Abdulkadir told reporters at the IMN headquarters in the city.

“We have eight dead bodies with us including a two-year old girl shot in the head.”

A crowd of IMN members was gathered in the foyer of the building, some with injuries from the clashes.

“It is difficult to give a tentative death toll because the information reaching us is scary,” Abdulkadir said.

“At the Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital 40 dead bodies including men, women and children were taken to the morgue.

“The police quickly went and took the bodies away, so we don’t know where they took them.”

Abdulkadir estimated that more than 50 of his members could have been killed in the violence with at least 30 others injured.

– ‘Dangerous situation’ –

There have been several incidents of sectarian violence involving the IMN in the past year in Nigeria, with Sunni Muslim mobs attacking Shiite ceremonies in recent weeks.

In October, Kano police banned IMN from conducting street processions ahead of the annual Ashura rites on the grounds that the group is a security threat.

Speaking to reporters in Nigeria’s capital Abuja, inspector general of police Ibrahim Idris defended the decision to shoot at the IMN procession.

“They attacked our officers, killed one of our officers. One has sustained an arrow wound on his head and obviously in such a situation, police have the responsibility to ensure free movement of people on the road,” Ibrahim said.

Ibrahim described the IMN procession as being “armed to the teeth” and dismissed fears that authorities’ heavy-handed response would radicalise the group.

“I think as Nigerians, we have to appreciate… a dangerous situation, and to be sympathetic with the police that are being killed by some of these miscreants,” Ibrahim said.

“When you worship, you go to mosques or churches. Blocking highways and passages doesn’t constitute part of worship.”

AFP

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