Army/Shiite Clash: 61 bodies deposited at ABUTH- CMD
Aftermath of weekend’s clash between soldiers and members of Shiite Islamic sect, Chief Medical Director, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching hospital (ABUTH), Zaria, Kaduna State, Prof. Lawal Khalid, has said that its mortuary has received 61 dead bodies resulting from the deadly clashes between members of the sect and the Nigerian Army.
Lawal, confirmed this on Tuesday, even as soldiers barricaded the road leading to Zaria, apparently to fish out members of the Shiite sect which have been having a confrontation with the military since Saturday.
The soldiers are said to have mounted check points at Dogarawa village, near Zaria where they thoroughly screened motorists entering the city.
Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has set up a panel headed by a director at the Commission, Tony Ojukwu to probe the clash.
The panel was set up following a petition by the Army alleging that members of the sect attempted to assassinate Tukur Buratai, its COAS, along Sokoto road in Zaria, Kaduna state, last Saturday.
According to the Army, members of the sect on the orders of their leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, attacked the convoy of Buratai, who was on his way to pay homage to the Emir of Zazzau and to attend the passing out parade of some new recruits in the state.
“The sect numbering hundreds carrying dangerous weapons barricaded the roads with bonfires, heavy stones and tyres. They refused all entreaties to disperse and then started firing and pelting the convoy with dangerous objects.
“The barricade was obviously a deliberate attempt to assassinate the chief of army staff and members of his entourage while on a legitimate official assignment as special guest of honour at the passing out parade which has earlier been widely publicized,” Sani Usman, spokesman of the army, had said in a statement.
“The troops responsible for the safety and security of the chief of army staff on hearing explosion and firing were left with no choice than to defend him and the convoy at all cost as well as open up the barricaded road for law abiding citizens.
“This is in line with the Nigerian army rules of engagement and code of conduct. This kind of behaviour will not be tolerated from any individual or groups and should not be allowed to repeat itself.”
But the sect denied making an attempt on the life of the chief of army staff, alleging that the army shot its unarmed members killing scores of them.
Meanwhile, following the violent clash in Zaria, Kaduna State, between the Nigerian Army and members of the Shiite sect, which led to the death of scores of the sect’s members, there is palpable tension in parts of Kaduna as Shiite members have stormed major streets in protest.
Residents in Tudun Wada area of the state, said the protesters were demanding the release of Ibrahim Zakzaky, their leader, who was detained by the Nigerian Army, after a heavy bombardment of his house, which lasted several hours midnight Saturday.
It was disclosed that banks, offices and other business places along Tudun Wada-Ahmadu Bello Way have been closed for fear of the unknown.
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