Shia Muslims Protest Over Nigerian Military Crackdown

  Shia Muslims are protesting in six northern Nigerian cities against a military crackdown they allege has left hundreds of their members dead. Many businesses have closed in Kaduna, one of the cities worst-affected by the demonstrations, a BBC reporter says. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani phoned his Nigerian counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari, about the crackdown. Nigeria’s military accuses the pro-Iranian sect of trying to assassinate army chief Gen Tukur Buratai. The sect, known as the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), denies the allegation.

Shia in Nigeria Facts:

  • Shias are minority in Nigeria but their numbers are increasing
  • The IMN, formed in the 1980s, is the main Shia group led by Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky
  • They operate their own schools and hospitals in some northern states
  • They have a history of clashes with the security forces
  • The IMN is backed by Shia-dominated Iran and its members often go there to study
  • Sunni jihadist group Boko Haram condemns Shias as heretics who should be killed

Nigeria Map

Original story by BBC News Africa

 

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