The Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) has said the Nigerian Army shot and killed 16 of its members at a military checkpoint in Nyanya, Abuja on Monday.
Spokesperson of the group, Abdullahi Muhammadu Musa, confirmed the figure to SaharaReporters, stating that according to the injuries on the victims' bodies, they were shot dead at close range.
He added that the soldiers also took away an unspecified number of corpses with their truck, noting that many people sustained varying degrees of injuries.
He accused President Muhammadu Buhari of ordering officers of the Guards Brigade to kill their members, stating that the group would continue to demand for justice from the Nigerian government.
It was gathered that the protest, which entered the second day on Monday, turned violent at Nyanya military checkpoint along Mararaba road, when the soldiers engaged the protesters with live ammunition.
The protesters, who were coming from Mararaba/Nasarawa axis, surmounted the police blockade at the city gate that bordered the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Nasarawa State peacefully.
However, trouble started when the group approached another checkpoint, which was located at Nyanya. It was gathered that the security operatives on duty who were drafted to mount a roadblock in the area, asked them to stop, but the group decided to proceed with the protest and ignored the order. This led to fisticuffs between the group the security operatives, forcing the police to open fire on the protesters at close range.
Many people were suffocated from the smoke of tear-gas canisters, which were fired during the commotion.
The protesters also pelted the soldiers and hurled petrol bombs at them, while the Police took cover with the Armoured Personnel Carrier and started firing indiscriminately.
Followers of Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky are observing a mass protest tagged 'Arbaeen Symbolic Trek'. The three-day protest is expected to end on Tuesday.
Captain Tagwaihe Timothy Haruna, Public Relations Officer, Guards Brigade of the Nigerian Army, said a press statement would be issued as soon as possible regarding the incident.