A violent clash between police and a Shiite group protesting Israel’s relentless assault on Gaza left one person dead and several injured in Kaduna on Thursday.
The protesters, members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, marched the streets of Kaduna carrying Palestinian flags and dummies of dead children in a show of solidarity with Palestine and condemnation of Israel.
Chants of “Death to Israel” and “We support Palestine” oozed from the crowd.
As the protest progressed, there was a face-off between the police and the arms-wielding protesters when the former arrived to disperse the crowd with teargas.
The police said the Shiite Muslims fired at them. “They fired catapult with pellets at our men. In the process they (Shi’ites) killed one civilian identified as Aliyu,” police spokesperson in Kaduna Mansur Hassan said.
Hassan also condemned the protest. “They were protesting against the Israel–Palestine war, but this is not Israel, this is Kaduna,” he said.
The IMN, however, blamed the death on the police.
“The police opened fire on our peaceful protest in solidarity with Palestine, killing our member and injuring several others,” said IMN spokesperson Aliyu Tirmizi.
The IMN seeks to establish an Islamic state through an Iranian-style revolution and along with its leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky has been at loggerheads with the Nigerian government for years.
The Nigerian government proscribed the group in July 2019.