Amnesty accuses military of killing 350 Shi’ites

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Jesusegun Alagbe with agency report

International human rights group, Amnesty International, on Friday,  accused the Nigerian Army of killing more than 350 people belonging to the Shia Muslim sect last December.

The military, however, dismissed the rights group’s report as hasty, one-sided and biased, reported Reuters.

Amnesty’s report relates to events in Zaria where the military said the Islamic Movement in Nigeria tried to assassinate its chief of staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, when members of the sect blocked his convoy.

The following day, the army said it had raided several buildings connected to the sect.

Amnesty said more than 350 people were believed to have been unlawfully killed by the military between December 12 and 14.

Its report contains satellite images that it said appeared to show the location of a mass grave.

An eyewitness, simply called Yusuf, said soldiers set fire to a makeshift medical facility in the sect’s compound, according to the Reuters report.

Amnesty director, Netsanet Belay, “Those who were badly injured and could not escape were burned alive,” he said, adding that he believed tens of people died in this way.

Amnesty said it carried out research in February 2016 during which 92 people were interviewed, including alleged victims and their relatives, eyewitnesses, lawyers and medical staff.

“It is clear that the military not only used unlawful and excessive force against men, women and children, unlawfully killing hundreds, but then made considerable efforts to try to cover-up these crimes.”

“Our research, based on witness testimonies and analysis of satellite images, has located one possible mass grave,” he added.

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Source: Punch News

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Amnesty accuses military of killing 350 Shi’ites

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