Nigerian Army Detains Shiite Cleric after House Raid
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Nigerian forces on Sunday arrested top Shiite cleric Ibrahim al-Zakzaky after carrying out a deadly raid on his private residence in the country’s northern region, rights activists said.
The activists and local residents said that a large number of soldiers torched and destroyed several parts of al-Zakzaky's house before arresting the cleric on Sunday, Press TV reported.
Sources said that several people were killed or injured when the Nigerian government forces opened fire on local residents who were attempting to protect the cleric.
According to the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, the troops also rounded up several peace activists who were attending a peace march against the army's brutality.
The developments followed the Saturday violence between troops and Shiite Muslims in the country’s city of Zaria, Kaduna State, in which at least 15 people were killed and many more injured.
Reports said soldiers opened fire on the people attending a ceremony in Hussainiyyah Baqeeyatullah, a religious center. The Shiites had reportedly stopped the convoy of the Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai as the top Shiite cleric was planning a speech in the religious center.
Authorities accuse the Shiite cleric of trying to assassinate the Nigerian army chief, a charge that he has vehemently denied.