Many people are feared dead following a clash between the police and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Nigeria’s biggest Shia organisation, in Kano yesterday, Daily Trust reports.

File Photo: Shiite march

But while the Kano State Commissioner of Police, Rabi’u Yusuf said a sergeant and eight Shiites were killed in the violence, the IMN said the number of casualties was more than the figure given by the police.

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The clash occurred at Kwanar Dawaki, on the outskirts of Kano, as the Shiites embarked on their annual Arba’een walk from Kano to Zaria in Kaduna State.

Addressing a press conference, the Kano police commissioner said many were injured in the clash, including four policemen.

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He said scores had been arrested and would be charged to court as soon as police concluded investigation.

“Thousands of Shiite members converged on Kwanar Dawaki in Dawaki local government area of the state and obstructed motorists. They attacked innocent citizens, damaged public and personal properties, thereby causing mayhem that could lead to general disturbances of public peace in the state.

“We mobilized a combined team of Police Mobile Force, Counter Terrorism Unit and Special Anti-Robbery Squad to the scene to restore law and order. In the process, Shiite members who were armed with bow and arrows, cutlasses, catapult with metal bolts and other dangerous local weapons attacked the police, killing one policeman and critically injured others.

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“They also snatched an AK47 rifle from a policeman which they used in attacking the policeman. The AK47 rifle was later recovered after our men trailed those who snatched it,” he added.

But when Dailytrust contacted, leader of the IMN in Kano, Malam Sanusi Abdulkadir Koki, said the group was still compiling the list of those killed in the clash, adding that the casualties were more than eight.

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“We have the list of our people that participated in the procession and we have sent our lawyers to the police to ascertain the casualties from our own angle. We were only able to recover four corpses after the clash. At present, dozens of our men and women were missing. So it is only after the team is back that we can ascertain the actual number of people killed in the encounter,” he said in a phone interview.

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Koki added that “our people did not carry any weapon. But I cannot rule out possessing catapult because, by the definition of law, it is not a weapon.”

He also denied the allegation that members of the group had blocked one lane of the ever busy Kano-Kaduna highway, noting that “It is police that blocked the road in their quest to attack our people. They used live ammunition and killed our people.” He added.


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