The dead bodies of Shiite Muslims massacred by the Nigerian military were abandoned in the Zaria streets in Kaduna State Saturday, according to video footage acquired by SaharaReporters.
A reliable number of dead has not yet been established at the time of this report, but the Nigerian military in a report from the Army Corps of Military Police have said that seven Shiite members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (ISM) were killed and ten wounded.
The army has claimed that they were defending the life of the Army Chief of Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, from ISM members who were protesting in the Zaria streets. According to the army, the ISM members were “heavily armed with dangerous weapons ranging from long swords, knives, daggers, sticks, and iron rods to catapult.”
However, the leadership of ISM denied that their members were involved in any attempt to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff. Shiite spokesperson, Ibrahim Musa, told Channels TV that the army had arrested the leader of ISM, Ibrahim Zakyzaky.
Mr. Musa claimed that it was the attempted arrest of Mr. Zakyzaky which sparked the clash between Nigerian soldiers and Shiites.
The video footage obtained by SaharaReporters depicts more than seven dead bodies stacked and abandoned in the Zaria streets. Sources speaking with SaharaReporters said that it was members of the Nigerian military who stacked the bodies of the massacre victims.
However it is observed that instead of any soldiers being posted to watch over the dead bodies, or to secure the area, the victims were left in the streets. According to footage, shortly after the military killings nearby thieves and looters began picking the pockets of victims for money or other items.
When contacted about this footage, the army spokesman Colonel S.K. Usman told our correspondent that he was unable to comment on any developments after the shooting and that members of the media should await reports from the military.