Oct 30, 2018 07:14 UTC
  • Nigerian army opens fire on Muslim protesters demanding Sheikh Zakzaky's release

Nigeria's military has opened fire on hundreds of Muslim protesters calling for the release of imprisoned cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, who is still in prison despite a 2016 high court ruling ordering his unconditional freedom.

According to Press TV, Nigerian soldiers attacked hundreds of members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) as they took part in the march for the release of Sheikh Zakzaky in the capital Abuja on Monday.

Witness said some victims were lying on the ground on a road in the area of Kugbo on Abuja's outskirts following the army assault. 

"The security agents attacked members of the IMN when they were in the procession coming into Abuja," the IMN Spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, said.

"People were martyred definitely. We don't carry arms on our procession, we don't block roads ... the security agents have decided to shed our blood,” he added without giving a death toll.

Rights group Amnesty International said reports that troops were firing live bullets at protesters were "very disturbing," adding, "Firing live bullets at unarmed protesters is unlawful."

Rights groups have accused Nigeria's military of massacring more than 300 IMN supporters and burying them in mass graves during the 2015 confrontation, a charge the military strongly denies.

This comes after at least 10 people were martyred in an attack by Nigerian security forces against Muslims on Saturday. Reports in local Nigerian media said scores of people had also been injured after Nigerian security forces opened fire on Muslim worshipers gathering for a procession in Zuba in Gwagwalada area of Abuja.

The Saturday attack came as Muslim worshipers had gathered near Abuja from Suleja, in Niger state, for a three-day procession to commemorate the annual Arba’een occasion, which marks the 40th day after Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Shias’ Imam and Grandson of Prophet Mohammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny).