SaharaReporters just learned that Nigerian soldiers may have killed a wife and a son of Nigeria’s foremost Shiite leader, Sheik Ibraheem Zakzaky, in an ongoing military operation against the sect in Zaria, Kaduna State. Ibrahim Musa, President of the Media Forum of Islamic Movement of Nigeria, disclosed the killings in a statement released today. SaharaReporters was unable to independently confirm the news and a conversation with one of his sons who didn’t want to be named shows the Shia Sheik and his wife are still alive.
Mr. Musa also claimed that the military destroyed the sect’s headquarters as well as the residence of the Shiite leader. According to him, Sheik Zakzaky’s whereabouts remain unknown.
Mr. Musa and another member of the sect, who spoke on condition of anonymity, declared that Nigerian troops were engaged in indiscriminate killing of members of the Islamic sect, with its headquarters in Zaria. They stated that soldiers had killed some prominent members of the Shiite sect as well as followers. Among the reported casualties were the leader of the group’s Kano Center, Sheikh Muhammad Turi, Mustapha Sa’eed, Ibrahim Usman, and a major female member, Jummai Gili
According to Mr. Musa’s statement, “The sporadic killings took place at three different locations that include the residence of the revered leader of the Movement at Gyallesu, the Husainiyya Bakiyatullah at the GRA and the Darur Rahma located along Zaria-Jos Road where many [unarmed] people were killed.
“The killing was so brutal at Gyallesu that even those injured in the shooting were identified and killed in cold blood by the soldiers. And as at the time of writing this press release, the victims run into their hundreds, if not thousands.
“Considering the gross violation of fundamental human rights and extra-judicial killings perpetrated by the Nigerian Army, the Islamic Movement hereby condemns these unjustifiable acts.”
Statement from Islamic Movement – Vanguard
“In the mean time, leading members of the Islamic Movement and other members as well, have been killed by the soldiers including the leader of the Kano Center, Sheikh Muhammad Turi, Dr. Mustapha Sa’eed, Malam Ibrahim Usman and Sister Jummai Gilima.
“Also killed were Sayyid Aliy, the son of the leader of the Movement, Sayyid Ibraheem Zakzaky; the wife of Sayyid Ibraheem Zakzaky, Malama Zeenat Ibraheem and tens of other members as more are being killed as at the time of this release.
“The sporadic killings took place at three locations that included the residence of the revered leader of the Movement at Gyallesu, the Husainiyya Bakiyatullah at the GRA and the Darur Rahma located along Zaria-Jos road where many unarmed people were killed.
“The killing was so brutal at Gyallesu that even those injured in the shooting were identified and killed in cold blood by the soldiers. And as at the time of writing this press release, the victims are in their hundreds, if not thousands.
“Considering the gross violation of fundamental human rights and extra-judicial killings perpetrated by the Nigerian Army, the Islamic Movement hereby condemns these unjustifiable acts.
“We state categorically that the claim by the Army that members of the Movement attempted to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff was a blatant lie as the army came back to launch their attack more than an hour after the COAS had passed.
“Clearly, the Nigerian government through its military is now on rampage in an all out war with the Islamic movement, its members and structures. The scale of this attack would suggest it was meticulously planned by authorities and now being executed ruthlessly. The alleged attack on COAS Burutai was just an alibi.
“Therefore, with all pointers at the government as the contractor of the killings, we hereby call on well meaning Nigerians and the international community to intervene and seek redress for the victims and their family members as many innocent people have unjustifiably been killed and many others severely injured.
“In the mean time, there is no idea as to the where about of the leader of the Movement, Sayyid Ibraheem Zakzaky nor his current condition, and aggrieved members of the Movement across the country have taken to the streets in protests”.
The killing of Turi, the leader of the Kano Center, has sparked tension in Kano, as members of the sect staged a rally from Saturday night till about 4am on Sunday. Another rally held on Sunday around Fagged Mosque, popularly known as ‘Waje Mosque’. According to a Kano resident, tens of thousands of Shi’ia members trooped to the nooks and crannies of Kano, passing through the palace of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, and raining expletives on the military personnel attached to Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff.