The Nigerian army claimed the faithfuls attempted to kill the Chief of Army Staff, Buratai, which was why they attacked the Islamic Movement. The Islamic Movement however countered this by stating that the attacks were unprovoked. The attacks took place at the movement Husainiyah Baqiyyatullah spiritual house and at the residence of the Sheikh.
According to reports, the Muslim leader Zakzaky was said to have placed a call to Iran during the clash with the military men.
Listen to the call which starts from the 4:30 mark, the Islamic Movement claims.
The phone call was disclosed by Dr. Perry Brimah and it was reportedly made to the Zaria Islamic Movement leader, Sheikh Zakzaky during the 13th-14th December 2015 military siege on his residence in Zaria.
Also, after the violent clash between the Nigerian Army and members of the Shiite Muslim sect on Saturday, in Zaria, Kaduna State, Iran allegedly placed a call to Nigerian authorities to respect religious figures and sites.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif contacted his counterpart Geoffrey Onyeama on Monday, expressing “deep concern” over the recent bloody clashes in Zaria.
The Nigerian government is expected to take serious and prompt measures to contain violence, maintain calm and protect the lives of Muslims, Zarif stated.
Also, IRNA quoted Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hossein Jaber-Ansari expressed sorrow over the recent bloody clashes saying;
Nigeria… is now dealing with problems arising from extremism and Takfiri terrorism and we hope that in these conditions preservation of calm and national unity in battling terrorism is prioritized while rash and unconstructive measures are avoided,”
It is not the first time the faithfuls have come under attack by the Nigerian military. Last year August under the Goodlluck Jonathan administration, 31 faithfuls were killed in similar unprovoked attacks as well as three sons of the Sheikh. However, this year, his wife and son were reportedly killed as well as his deputy. A reliable number of people who actually died haven been sparking disputes.
According to the army statement concerning the latest attack, the group who hold million man peaceful processions, constitute a “highway nuisance.
Sheikh Zakzaky is reported to have been found by the military, hiding in a ‘bunker’ after sustaining a gun-shot injury. He and over 100 faithfuls have so far been detained.