No fewer than six persons were reportedly killed and many injured yesterday in Abuja when a combined team of security operatives allegedly attacked members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) otherwise known as Shi’ites during their annual symbolic trek along Kubwa expressway.
This is just as a combined security operatives yesterday arrested 57 members of the IMN for what the police described as actions that caused unnecessary hardship for motorists and other road users as well as individuals going about their lawful businesses.
LEADERSHIP gathered there was panic in Gwarinpa Estate and its environs as gunshots by security agents rent the air along the Kubwa Expressway in Abuja while members of the IMN and security agents engaged in a duel.
The situation led to pandemonium in the area as residents were seen running helter-skelter to avoid being caught up in the bloody clash.
An eye witness, Moses Ighodaro, told our correspondent that a joint team of security operatives opened fire on members of the sect when they were about to round off their annual symbolic procession.
“The incident occurred at the Gwarimpa gate near Galadima. The gun-wielding security agents arrived at the scene, threw the trekking shi’ite members into confusion and all of us scampered for safety.
“It was like a battlefield; people were running about to save their heads and the sound of gunshots were horrible. I was told that two people were shot at a new generation bank inside the estate,” he said.
When contacted, the secretary of the Academic Forum of the IMN, Abdullahi Musa, also confirmed the incident.
“They are just shooting people. As I am talking to you now, six people have been killed. They even carried some dead bodies away,” he said.
Musa claimed the security agents took away some dead bodies in the process.
Members of the sect had yesterday morning gathered in continuation of their procession to mark the 40th day of the murder of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, who was killed on 10th Muharram.
The protesters in their numbers hoisted two flags, one red and the other black, while chanting songs.
A combined security operatives yesterday arrested 57 members of the IMN for actions that caused unnecessary hardship for motorists and other road users as well as individuals going about their lawful businesses.
FCT Police PRO, DSP Adeh Josephine, who confirmed the arrest, said no casualty was recorded as petrol bombs, weapons, bags of stones were recovered.
He said, “The FCT Police command in a joint operation with other security agencies have restored normalcy to the Gwarinpa area of the FCT and other parts of the capital where miscreants identified to be members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shiites, caused unnecessary hardship to motorists and other road users as well as individuals going about their lawful businesses.
“The miscreants who were found in their numbers were promptly intercepted by the security operatives and dispersed to prevent them from causing further disruption of public order and peace and damage to public and private assets.
“The miscreants attacked the security forces with petrol bombs, weapons including stones but were adequately rounded up by the security teams without any casualty.
“A total of 57 suspects including 39 and 18 females were arrested and currently being profiled at the State Criminal Investigations Department of the FCT Police Command.
“A golf vehicle, flags, petrol bombs, weapons, mobile phones, charms, where recovered as exhibits.”
The Command, while calling on residents of FCT to be calm, warned that any individual or group who may want to disrupt the peace being enjoyed in the Capital Territory should desist or be ready to face the full wrath of the law.