Tension in Abuja as Shi’ites, police, military clash


There was tension on Tuesday in Abuja, the nation’s capital city when members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) popularly known as Shi’ites and security forces, including police and military operatives, clashed.

The clash threw residents of the city in confusion.

At least two people were feared killed after men in and police uniforms opened fire at some members of the IMN who staged the annual Arbaeen trek at Gwarinpa district of Abuja, the nation’s capital.

It was gathered that the gunmen attacked the sect members near the tricycle park at 3rd avenue Gwarinpa around 10:00am.

An eyewitness, James Ola, said: “Two people were killed including one passerby. It was around 10:00 am we started hearing gunshots along the road.

“The shooting lasted about 10 minutes. But after the shooting, the gunmen appeared to have succeeded in thoroughly dispersing the Arbaeen trekkers.

“I saw two people killed on the road. Some of the passersby who had nothing to do with the Shi’ites may have also been involved.”

Reacting to the incident, The Federal Capital Territory Police Command said the Shiites came to cause unrest in the nation’s capital.

FCT Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Josephine Adeh, told The Nation about 42 of the IMN members were arrested with explosives and flags, adding that there was no casualty.

Her words: “We got a security report before now that the Shiites mobilized people from about six states into FCT with the intention of making the city ungovernable.

“They engaged our men with dangerous weapons. They were throwing explosives and stones at our men. What we simply did was disperse them with tear gas. There was no casualty. 45 of them were arrested and the situation is calm at the moment”.


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