Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif has called on Nigeria to take “prompt and serious” action to protect Shia Muslims after dozens of them were killed in a military crackdown on Sunday, in Zaria, Kaduna state.
The minister, in a phone call to Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, described the clash as a worrying incident, which needed prompt measures to calm the situation. Zarif told his counterpart that Iran “demands the Nigerian government immediately shed light on the incidents, treat the injured, and compensate for damages, the official IRNA news agency reports. He also called for “immediate and serious action to prevent violence”.
The army was involved in a clash on Saturday and early Sunday with the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), a body allegedly seeking to establish an Islamic state through an Iranian-styled revolution, and arrested its leader Ibrahim Zakzaky.
The violence was sparked when Shiite faithfuls on Saturday, blocked the main road outside their prayer centre, where hundreds had gathered for a ceremony.
The military claimed Shiites attacked a convoy of the army chief, Yusuf Buratai, leaving soldiers no option but to retaliate. The IMN, however, denied the charge.
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