The Nigerian Army on Monday night released a statement admitting its culpability about the bedlam that happened on Monday afternoon at the outskirts of Abuja after its soldiers shot live rounds at a Shi’ite protest allegedly killing at least three persons in the process.
The furore took place at Karu, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory, and there have been reports of residents moving out of the area due to fear of reprisal attacks from the Shi’ites.
The Karu shooting was the second time members of the Armed Forces have had a bloody encounter with members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN). Another clash happened earlier on Saturday at Zuba which left many protesters dead.
The statement by the army reads:
“The sect in massive numbers forced their way into the troops’ checkpoint after overrunning the Police Force. The Police withdrew back to own troops position to join efforts to repel them.
“They fired weapons at own troops, throwing bottle canisters 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 army said of the incident, which it estimated broke out at 3:00 p.m.
“However, the 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 further allayed the fear of residents saying calm has returned to the area with more troops deployed in order to forestall the breakdown of law and order.