Saturday, 26 July 2014
Zakzaky’s sons killed in Zaria protest over Gaza
A clash between the military in Zaria, Kaduna State, and members of the Shi’a Islamic group, led by Sheikh Ibraheem El Zakzaky, has resulted in the killing of at least 10 people. His son, Sayyed (pictured), was allegedly killed in the violence by Nigerian soldiers. Two other El Zakzaky’s sons were also reportedly killed. A witness told US that “sporadic shooting as a result of the clash” went on for hours.
He explained that it is the tradition of members of the group to converge on Zaria from a whole lot of places within and outside the state for prayers, after which they march round town in their thousands for the Quds Day rally. However, after Friday’s prayers, it was observed that thousands of Shi’a members were chanting Islamic songs and hoisting placards alluding to the ongoing violence in Gaza. At some point, violence broke out. “As we speak now, there is serious fight going on in Zaria. Soldiers are shooting seriously and we are afraid because we don’t know what will happen this evening,” he said.
“Members of the sect, which is headquartered in Zaria, were displaying banners and flags with inscriptions condemning Israel’s invasion of Gaza. They were chanting ‘Government is Boko Haram’ and other anti-government songs as they moved around. “Movement is usually restricted whenever they are passing because they block all the roads. Surprisingly around 3:45 pm today, we started hearing gunshots from soldiers.
I don’t even know what happened. I first of all thought the shots were coming from a nearby barrack until we started see glimpses of corpses and injured people being carried about.” He expressed fears that the clash would drag on for hours, because despite losing some of their members to the superior firearm of the military, the Shia men refused to retreat and some even resorted to pelting the soldiers with stones.
“The soldiers could not even succeed in dispersing them. They frustrated the soldiers and the officers kept on shooting to scare them, but they did not give up. “Our fear now is that they might want to retaliate because we know them very well. The Shi’a members cannot just ignore this issue. They have