Nigeria Crackdown: Soldiers Open Fire on Shiite Protesters in Abuja, Several Martyred
Another devastating violence has broken out in Karu, a densely populated suburb of the Nigerian capital Abuja.
Witnesses reported that at least 16 people were martyred and scores others wounded during a confrontation between protesters and Nigerian soldiers around the flyover in Karu.
While some of the deceased died after being rammed by cars driven by panic drivers, most of them were hit by Nigerian soldiers’ bullets, which they reportedly rained on the protesters and passersby indiscriminately, witnesses said.
“They have killed about 16 to 22 people,” a witness in the neighborhood said Monday evening. “Bodies are everywhere, they are everywhere without anyone even attempting to evacuate them.”
The witness said soldiers were responsible for most of the deaths, attributing only about four to persons rammed by speeding vehicles or an elderly woman who fell and hit her head against the median while scampering for safety.
“Yes, the soldiers were killing the people,” another witness added separately. “I cannot say how many people were killed, but they are so many and bodies still on the main road and streets.”
The witness also said the protesters were not armed with guns and live ammunition, saying “only the soldiers were carrying guns.”
The killings come two days after Nigerian soldiers opened fire during a Shiite procession in Zuba, another suburb of Abuja, on Saturday afternoon.
Nigerian security agencies have consistently attacked Shiite members since December 2015 when hundreds of Islamic Movement of Nigeria members were massacred by Nigerian soldiers in Zaria, Kaduna State.
A judicial panel which investigated the killings indicted Adeniyi Oyebade, a major-general, and other military officers for their role in the large-scale murder of at least 347 IMN faithful.
Sheikh Ibrahim el-Zakzaky, leader of the IMN who was arrested following the 2015 killings of his members, has been held in custody ever since, despite repeated court orders for his immediate release.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team