Monday, November 14, 2016

Nigeria Islamic Movement Pilgrimage Clash Kills Nine in Kano
BBC World Service

A photo provided by the IMN appears to show police blocking the Kano-Zaria road

At least eight Nigerian Shia Muslims and one police officer have been killed in clashes with police at a religious procession in Kano city, police say.

Many marchers and five police officers were also injured, Police Commissioner Rabiu Yusuf said.
The group behind the procession, the Iran-backed Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), has a history of tension with the security forces.

Last December troops killed 349 of its members during a crackdown.

The cause of the latest violence, which took place on the outskirts of Kano, is disputed.

Police officials said Shia procession participants attacked police with weapons including machetes and bows and arrows and seized a police rifle, which was later recovered.

But people on the procession said police had attacked them as they walked peacefully.

The IMN has abandoned the seven-day procession to the city of Zaria in neighbouring Kaduna state and told followers to return home, the organisation told the BBC.

The IMN is Nigeria's biggest Shia organisation and has its headquarters in Zaria. It has been outlawed in Kaduna state for carrying out unlawful processions.

Its followers have been involved in a series of clashes with the security forces as well as attacks by Sunni militants.

In October, 10 IMN members were reported to have been killed in northern Katsina state following clashes with security forces during a religious celebration.

In August, a judicial review said Nigerian troops should be prosecuted for the killings in Zaria last December. IMN leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky was shot and then detained during the crackdown and remains in custody.

And last year's Shia procession from Kano to Zaria saw more than 20 people killed in an attack by a suicide bomber from the Boko Haram Sunni Islamist militant group.

Security forces were ordered to stay away from last year's procession following deadly clashes in previous years.

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