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Iran Press TV

Nigerian army bulldozes Shia religious center in Zaria

Iran Press TV

Mon Dec 21, 2015 11:5AM

The Nigerian army has completely demolished a religious center belonging to the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) following the recent massacre of Shia Muslims in the West African country.

The IMN's website cited a local source as saying that the army bulldozed Hussainiyyah Baqeeyatullah in the northern city of Zaria in Kaduna State on Sunday.

This comes nearly a week after Nigerian soldiers opened fire on the people attending a religious ceremony at the site. Local media said more than a dozen people were killed during the December 12 raid.

The military accused the Shias of stopping the convoy of Nigeria's Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai and attempting to assassinate him. The IMN and its leader Ibrahim al-Zakzaky strongly rejected the assassination accusation.

IMN spokesman Ibrahim Usman also rejected an accusation by local officials that the movement had "blocked roads for four days" during the religious ceremony, which marked Arba'een, the fortieth day to follow the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the third Shia Imam.

One day later, Zakzaky was arrested during a raid by the army on his residence and the buildings connected to the Shia community in Zaria. Local sources say hundreds of people trying to protect the cleric, including three of his sons, were killed in the raid.

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