Iran has expressed its anger at the clampdown measures Nigerian military took in suppressing the behavior of the Shiite group. On that account, a senior Iranian official called on the Nigerian government to make those who participated in the military’s bloody clampdown on the Shia Muslim community face justice.
In deep sorrow, Secretary General of the World Assembly of Islamic Awakening Ali-Akbar Velayati, who is also a senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, expressed his regret in a statement released on Tuesday.
He stated that last year’s massacre of Muslims by the Nigerian army during rallies marking the International Quds Day still lingers in the minds of people. He also emphasized that the demonstrators were only slaughtered for being actively interested in and concerned for the success of the Palestinian nation against Israel’s atrocities and occupation.
Velayati added that the Nigerian army, spurred by the Israeli regime and supported by Wahhabi extremists, has struck Muslims in the African country once more after the huge march of Nigerians during this year’s mourning rituals of Arba’een, which marked the 40th day after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussain (PBUH), the third Shia imam.
Though the exact number of people killed is still in dispute, reports say that more than a dozen people were murdered after Nigerian army and Shia Muslims clashed in the northern city of Zaria, Kaduna State. The military accused the Shias of trying to kill Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, Nigerian chief of army staff. A video showing Nigerian army pleading with the Shia Muslims before the clash was also released.
Watch video Below:
The clashe broke out when Nigerian soldiers opened fire on the people who were going to a religious ceremony at Hussainiyyah Baqeeyatullah, a religious center owned by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).
After the clash, army men raided the home of revered Nigerian Shia cleric Ibrahim al-Zakzaky, taking him and his wife into custody. Hundreds of people trying to protect the cleric were said to have been gunned down.
Also last year, 25 Nigerian demonstrators were killed during the International Quds Day rallies in Zaria.