Two people were slaughtered in Kaduna state while another nine were killed in Katsina as security agencies prevented Shi’ites from performing the Ashura festival, the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has said.
According to the commission, security agencies are hellbent on preventing members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) from taking part in annual processions.
The processions mark the martyrdom of a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.
In Kaduna, the IHRC late on Tuesday said a horde of soldiers surrounded the Markaz mosque filled with worshipers.
It said it was in possession of credible evidence that the worshipers were “trapped” inside the mosque, and called on the Nigerian authorities to withdraw the soldiers and “allow the worshippers to continue to exercise their constitutional right to freedom of assembly and worship”.
“The worshippers have gathered to commemorate historical events associated with the Islamic month of Muharram that are particularly significant in the Shia calendar”, the advocacy organisation said.
“Shortly before the the Kaduna Markaz mosque on Zango Road was encircled armoured military vehicles carrying heavily armed soldiers and also an ambulance were among a convoy of 18 military vehicles seen nearby.”