UPDATES: Army Arrest Shi'ite Leader As Tension Mount In Zaria
Just less than 24-hour after the attempted assassination of chief of army staff,Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, the Nigerian troops have arrested the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, a group propagating the spread of Shi’ite Islam in Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, following a raid at his Zaria residence.
Nigerian government troops raid the home of top Shia cleric Ibrahim al-Zakzaky in Zaria Photo credit: presstv.com
According to Premium Times, a top leader of the group, Muhammadu Turi, has disclosed that head of the medical team of the sect, Mustapha Saidu and several others were killed during the operation.
It was learnt that the Nigerian army and members of the sect had been trading blames on who first fired the first shot that led to the death of members of the sect on Saturday, December 12.
On the part of the army, the Shi’ite followers allegedly made attempt on the life of Buratai, an allegation that has been reportedly dismissed by the sect stating that the troops actually decided to attack ‘defenseless people’.
It was also learnt that soldiers that storm the residence of the leader of the sect throughout the night as heavy shootings and sounds of explosions were heard in the area around Sokoto road, where Hussainiyya stayed.
People around the area explained that armoured tanks were seen demolishing the Hussainiyya shrine and the residence of the leader of the sect.
Also, a source at the military hospital in Chindit Barracks Depot of the Nigerian army in Zaria said that 19 bodies were received after the raid.
According to the official statement, made by Colonel Sani Usman, the director of army public relations, the attack took place while Buratai was on his way to pay homage on the Emir of Zazzau and attend the Passing Out Parade of 73 Regular Recruits Intake of Depot Nigerian Army in Zaria.