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Shi'ites in Katsina fear intimidation by army may lead to violence

31 March 2016, 08:34

Abuja - Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria have claimed that they were intimidated and harassed by military personnel on Wednesday in Katsina State, Sahara Reporters has stated.

The incident is said to have occurred during a peaceful gathering to memorialize the daughter of Prophet Mohammed, an event which the group holds annually.

According to an official statement released by the group and signed by IMN Media Forum leader Ibrahim Musa, IMN has expressed fear that the intimidation may escalate into violence directed towards the group.

"Reports from Katsina today have indicated that the Nigerian army is amassing troops in an attempt at a clampdown on the Islamic Movement in the town.

"Early in the morning armed troops were seen surrounding the main Juma’at mosque, where a peaceful maulud procession of the daughter of the Prophet, Nana Fatima (AS) was scheduled to take off," the statement read.

Also read: Zakzaky makes U-turn, agrees to participate in clash probe

A witness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, has claimed that the military stated that the group were not welcome in the area where the procession took place.

"We arrived at Central mosque [in Katsina State] but was soon surrounded by police and army men. The men told us that we needed to leave the area, that we could not enter the mosque."

In addition to barring the group from the mosque, military personnel are also said to have confiscated property from the group's members.

"They took our banner, plaques of our group, posters of our Shiite leaders," a worshipper stated.

The development follows the brutal massacre of at least 300 Shi'ites at the hands of the military during a three-day rampage in Zaria.

The military has continued using force against members of the IMN, while continually detaining their leader Shiekh Ibrahim Zakzaky and killing members of his family.

Read more at Sahara Reporters

- News24


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