The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), popularly known as Shi’ites has narrated the brutal attack that allegedly led to the death of eight of its members on Tuesday.
Members of the sect were attacked by the Nigerian Army and the police at Gwarinpa, along Kubwa Expressway, Abuja, during an annual religious procession.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday evening, the Secretary, Academic Forum of the Movement, Abdullahi Musa described the attack as callous, barbaric, and uncalled for.
He explained that their Symbolic Trek kicked off at the gate of Gwarinpa Model City and took them to the main bus stop, where it was eventually terminated before the arrival of combined security operatives who swooped on them.
He said the gun-wielding security agents upon their arrival opened fire on them, killing eight persons and injuring many others.
He alleged that the police took away some dead bodies to an unknown destination.
Musa said, "Today, in Abuja, it was another heartlessness on display by the combination of Army, Police, and Civil Defence operatives. Sheikh (Ibraheem) El-Zakzaky's followers started an Arba'een procession from the gate of Gwarinpa model city to the main bus stop, where it was terminated.
"Arbaeen is a global event and we started yesterday (Monday) and it ended peacefully. Today is the last day and we came out to conclude the trekking.
"We terminated it at the second gate and everything was over. Unfortunately, a combined team of police and soldiers arrived around 10:00 am. The police were in the front and soldiers were behind and the police started shooting tear gas while the soldiers were shooting live ammunition. They even used Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) on us and people started running and they killed eight people.
"They even went away with two bodies who were shot in front of GTBank.
"Those who attended had even begun to disperse, then arrived the team of the joint security agents with all sorts of savagery.
"The brutality they meted out was of different level. First, they doused people with tear gas, started shooting live ammunition, gunning down many. Eight were confirmed dead, tens of scores injured and numerous arrested."
He said the movement remained committed and focused despite the attack, adding that Arba'een Symbolic trek cannot be stopped by any security agent or government.
He added that the purpose of the procession was to recall and equally experience the trial and tribulation faced by the Household of the Holy Prophet (S).