Kaduna: Violent Mob Attacks Home of Shiite Leader, 10 Injured
At least 10 people were injured when a mob attacked the home of a top Shia cleric in northwestern Nigeria’s Kaduna state Saturday, according to residents in the area.
The injured were said to be members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria.
“The crisis started early today when some Shia members tried to hoist their flag at the scene of the residence of Sheikh Mukhtar Sahabi, which was burnt last Wednesday at Tundun Wada. But they were attacked by a machete-wielding mob which challenged them,” Sadu Abubakar, a resident of the area, told Turkey’s Anadolu Agency.
Locals said the incident caused anxiety in the area, especially in Ungwan Muazu and Kinkinau.
Ibrahim Musa, spokesman of the Shia movement, told Anadolu Agency: “Our members were attacked today at one of the Islamic centers and home of one of our leaders which was recently burnt; 10 were seriously injured. Sadly, police just watched as the mob descended on our members.”
Kaduna police spokesman Aliyu Usman denied the allegation that police did nothing to control the situation. “We are monitoring the situation and would address the press later,” Usman said.
Last Wednesday, 18 Shias died in attacks on Ashura religious procession in northwestern Funtua and Kaduna towns; 15 of the dead reportedly died from police gunshots, while three others died when a mob set on fire the home of a local Shia leader, Sheikh Sahabi.
Kaduna state has proscribed the Islamic Movement of Nigeria following last December’s encounter between the group and the Nigerian army. Over 300 Shia members were killed in that incident in what human rights groups called a brutal crackdown on the sect. The government, for its part, accuses the group of operating a state within the state.
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