At least five followers of Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky have been killed on Saturday in a clash with the men of Nigerian Army in Zuba in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The Shi’ites were in a procession from Suleja in Niger State to Abuja for the three-day mass march, tagged: ‘Arbaeen Symbolic Trek’, scheduled to begin on Sunday.
It was gathered that when members of the sect approached a military checkpoint near Zuma motor park, the soldiers on duty refused to allow them to pass.
However, the directive did not go down well with the group and they insisted they would pass through the road.
Findings revealed that the Shi’ites later resorted to hurling stones at the soldiers, which led to pandemonium, as the soldiers were alleged to have opened fire on them, leading to the death of five people.
When SaharaReporters visited Zuba, the angry mob had been dispersed, but there was still palpable tension in the area. An eyewitness said about five members of the group were shot dead during the commotion.
The group had addressed a press conference on Saturday on the three-day march, which will commence on Sunday and end on October 30.
The group had appealed to the residents of Abuja and its environs not to panic during the march, as more than one million followers of Sheik El-Zakzaky were expected at the protest.
Efforts to get the reaction from the spokesman of Nigerian Army, Brigadier General J.T.E. Chukwu, on the incident were unsuccessful, as calls to his phone did not go through.