…only three killed, four soldiers injured

Chris Steven, Abuja

The Nigerian Army says members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shiites attacked its troops deployed on routine duty at Kugbo/ Karu bridge checkpoint of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) at about 3:00pm on 29th October 2018.

It confirmed that three members of the sect died during the clash between the troops and them while four soldiers sustained injuries.

In a statement issued and released on its Facebook page, the Nigerian Army said that the IMN members attacked the troops firing weapons, “throwing bottle cannisters with fuel, large stones, catapults with dangerous objects and other dangerous items at troops causing bodily harm and stopping motorist movement, breaking their windscreen and causing heavy traffic.”

The members of IMN were embarking on the annual Arbaeen Symbolic Trek to the nation’s capital to demand for the release of their incarcerated leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

But the Army in a statement said “the sect in massive numbers forced their way into the troops checkpoint after over running the Police Force.”

It added that the “Police withdrew back to own troops position to join efforts to repel them.”

“However, Troops repelled the attack in conjunction with the Nigerian Police Force to stop the situation from further deteriorating.

Unfortunately, during the encounter 3 members of the sect were killed while 4 soldiers sustained various degrees of injuries and are being treated at a military medical facility,” the Army said

It added that the situation has been brought under control and normalcy restored in the general area and there is free flow of traffic.

There was pandemonium in Abuja on Monday following the clash following human and vehicular movement along Mararaba/Nyanya axis of Abuja was stalled for several hours.

But the Army in the statement urged members of the public living within Abuja and environs to go about their normal activities without fear of molestation.

“The Nigerian Army will not be deterred in carrying out its constitutional roles and also safeguarding law abiding citizens,” it said

However, the IMN had earlier on Monday claimed that there were plans by the Nigerian Army to kill its members as they embark on the annual Arbaeen Symbolic Trek.

This was contained in a statement on Monday by the Secretary of the Academic Forum of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Abdullahi Muhammad Musa.

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