Several persons are feared dead after soldiers reportedly opened fire on members of the Islamic movement of Nigeria in their Husainiyya base in Zaria, Kaduna state.
A resident of the area, who claimed to have witnessed the incident, said a truckload of soldiers came to the Husainiya area and surrounded it and “all of a sudden we heard gun shots and many people died”.
“The soldiers are still there and they have evacuated some of the corpses while others were taken by the site members” the witness said.
Another witness told PREMIUM TIMES more than 20 corpses were laying on the ground.
“The soldiers have killed many people here, possibly up to 20,” he said. “The leader of the sect, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky is leaving his home to where the soldiers are. He is saying he does not care if he is killed too.”
The spokesperson of the Army, Sani Usman, could not be reached for comments at this time.
The News Agency of Nigeria is however quoting Mr.Usman, a colonel, as saying the clash resulted from an assassination attempt on the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai.
The Army spokesperson reportedly said it was some suspected shiites who first attacked the motorcade of Mr. Buratai, a lieutenant general.
PREMIUM TIMES is unable to independently confirm that version of event at this time.
There has been a history of violence between members of the movement and the military.
A similar clash last year led to the death of many members, including the sons of the movement’s leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky.