Many killed as military and Shia Muslims clash in Katsina State

At least nine people are reported to have died after police opened fire on a procession of Shia Muslims marking the Ashura festival in Katsina state.

An eye witness to the clashes told BBC News the army and police had tried to block the procession, which commemorates the martyrdom of Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed. .

He said police then opened fire on the crowd, and while he had seen only eight bodies, many more were feared wounded. .

An announcement banning the procession, had been made across many states in the Northern part of the country, with the Kaduna State government declaring the group unlawful.

Last year, Sheikh Ibrahim el-Zakzaky, head of the Shia Muslims or Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), was arrested after his followers clashed with Nigerian soldiers in Zaria.

The military said that Zakzaky’s followers had tried to assassinate the Nigerian chief of army staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, and had barricaded roads being used by Buratai’s motorcade, during one of their processions.

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