lagos.jpg
Photograph: Google maps

At least 22 members of Nigeria's Shiite Muslim community have been killed by police and mobs while holding religious processions in three cities in the north of the country, a community leader said Thursday.

The attacks on Wednesday claimed 15 lives in Funtua, six in Kaduna and one in Sokoto, said Ibrahim Musa, spokesman for the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), the main Shiite group.

Police, however, said only three were killed in Funtua and one in Sokoto, and accused the Shiites of first attacking them. They blamed the killing in Sokoto on "hoodlums," the news agency NAN reported.

"As the Shiites had their procession, police opened fire on them and thereafter people started chasing them and attacking them," said a witness in Funtua who wanted to remain anonymous.

The army and police targeted Shiites "taking part in peaceful annual processions marking the death of a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed," the Britain-based Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) said.

Musa said Shiites were also attacked in Kano and Jos, and that some of their religious centres were burnt down.

Amnesty International and an inquiry commission have accused the army of killing about 350 Shiites in Zaria, 270 kilometres north of Abuja, in December.

The Iranian-backed Shiites accuse the Nigerian authorities of persecuting them. Most of Nigeria's 80 million Muslims, who make up nearly half of the country's population, are Sunnis.

Related stories

Latest news

Thousands of Romanians revive anti-government protests

Thousands of Romanians turned out on Sunday to renew their demands for the government to step down amid accusations it is trying to protect corrupt politicians.

Francis, first pope to visit Anglicans in Rome, weighs S Sudan trip

Pope Francis became the first leader of the Catholic Church to visit the Anglican community in Rome on Sunday, where he said he was considering a trip to famine-struck South Sudan.

Ibrahimovic lifts Man United past Southampton in League Cup final

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored an 87th-minute winner as Manchester United beat Southampton 3-2 in an exciting League Cup final on Sunday.

London screens Iranian director's film amid Oscars boycott

Thousands of people watched a free screeening of Iranian director Asghar Farhadi's film "The Salesman" in London on Sunday to coincide with the Oscars.

Real Madrid stage comeback to stay top; Messi scores in Barcelona win

Lionel Messi scored the winner as Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 on Sunday to move top of the Spanish first division.

Dubrovnik Sun Gardens Hotel member of The Leading Hotels of the World

The Dubrovnik Sun Gardens Hotel has joined the Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd., a global hospitality consortium of more than 375 hotels and resorts in over 75 countries.

Biggest Bosnian Serb party ceases all contact with Izetbegovic over ICJ judjment review request

The main committee of the biggest Bosnian Serb party which makes up the ruling majority in Bosnia and Herzegovina decided o Sunday that its officials would cease all contact with member of the Bosnian President Bakir Izetbegovic until the crisis occurred following the submission of a request to the International Court of justice (ICJ) to review its ruling against Serbia is resolved.

Egypt court adjourns Morsi retrial over prison escape

An Egyptian court adjourned a case against former president Mohamed Morsi until March 29 on Sunday, during the first session of his retrial over orchestrating a prison escape during the 2011 uprising.

Hamas rejects Netanyahu's proposal for international forces in Gaza

The Islamic Hamas movement rejected on Sunday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proposal to send international forces to the Gaza Strip, the coastal enclave that Hamas has been ruling since 2007.

Deloitte: Growing optimism among CFOs

Chief financial officers (CFOs) in Croatia are more optimistic about growth and financial prospects in 2017 than they were last year, with most of them expecting increases in their company's revenue, a survey shows.

Russian agents main suspects for attempted coup in Montenegro

Russian citizens Eduard Shumakov and Vladimir Popoc, suspected of organising terrorist activities in Montenegro and forming a criminal organisation, are agents of Russia's Main Intelligence Agency (GRU), British, U.S. and other intelligence agencies confirmed, the Podgorica-based media reported on Sunday.

Six injured, 96 detained in Berlin fan clashes

Six people were treated in hospital and 96 detained in clashes in Berlin between fans of Hertha Berlin and Eintracht Frankfurt, police said Sunday.