Shiite Muslim Sect Alleges Massacre by Nigeria’s Military [NYTimes]


I tend to think the massacre figures do not seem to be backed up with substantial info.

**Shiite Muslim Sect Alleges Massacre by Nigeria’s Military **

KADUNA, Nigeria — Representatives of a Shiite Muslim sect in northwestern Nigeria said on Tuesday that hundreds of its members were killed by the military in a massacre over the weekend.

The government has disputed the death toll, acknowledging that at least seven members of the sect were killed but refusing to provide updated casualty figures. Still, the killings appeared to add a dangerous new dimension to the sectarian violence that has long bedeviled Nigeria.

The government has been battling an insurgency in northeastern Nigeria by Boko Haram, a Sunni Muslim extremist group, for years. Shiites, by contrast, are a tiny minority of the country’s Muslims.

On Tuesday, a leading human rights advocate called the killings of members of the Shiite sect a “massacre,” while the Iranian news media reported that Iran’s government, which sees itself as a protector of Shiites worldwide, had demanded an explanation.

Abdullahi Tumburkai, a Shiite journalist, said he had counted more than 830 bodies in the mortuary in Zaria, the headquarters of the sect, which calls itself the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.

A spokesman for the sect, Ibrahim Musa, said that as many as 1,000 of its members had been killed, and accused the army of covering up the death toll, saying that soldiers had been taking the bodies of the dead to an “unknown destination.”

At a news conference here on Monday, an army commander, Maj. Gen. Adeniyi Oyebade, said that soldiers opened fire on Saturday after members of the sect threatened a convoy that was taking the army’s chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, on an official visit to an emir in the region.

Very horrible story, I don’t know what to make of it, alleging the national Nigerian army killed up to 1,000 Shi’ites but it is in a very mainstream source.

And then, compare it to:

Four killed as police open fire on Shiite protesters in Nigeria**

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has telephoned his Nigerian counterpart Muhammadu Buhari to protest the crackdown on Shiites and call for an investigation, according to media reports.

Amnesty International on Tuesday also backed an inquiry.

“An impartial investigation is urgently needed into these killings. Anyone responsible for unlawful killings should be brought to justice,” the rights group said.

Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission said it has set up a panel to investigate the clashes between the army and the Shiite Muslims with a view to preventing a recurrence.


Good find. The discrepancy in those articles is bizarre. I don’t know what to make of it either, but it’s a very interesting fact that Nigeria is actually one of the richest nations on Earth. It’s easy to forget that, considering how impoverished Nigerians themselves are:


Thank you for the article and thank you for the response.

Also, there newly elected President Buhari strikes me as a good man as far as circumstances allow, it is kind of the 3rd world despite the riches.

And I preface that with saying, I’d think he is a Sunni Muslim, versus whom were attacked, Shiite Muslims.

Breitbart, of course, considered a “right wing” source ran this story today:

Shiite Islamists Attempt Murder of Nigerian Army Chief, Iran Condemns Nigeria

The attempted assassination of Nigeria’s Army head has resulted in a major crackdown on a Shiite Islamist group in the nation’s north, and protests from Iran that Nigeria should allow the group to establish a parallel Sharia state on Nigerian soil.

While traveling in Zaria, Kaduna state, members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) attacked the convoy of Chief of Army Staff Tukur Buratai on Saturday. The Nigerian military notes Buratai “was on his way to the palace of the emir of Zazzau to pay homage and also attend the passing out parade of 73 regular recruits at the depot of the Nigerian army in Zaria.” The attack resulted in Nigerian soldiers defending themselves against a large group of IMN members and eventually winding up at the home of IMN leader Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.

“A large number of his followers were gunned down around his house on Saturday through Sunday morning where they had congregated to protect the house from military invasion,” according to Bashir Bello, an eyewitness speaking to the Agence France-Presse.

So, I have for a long time, thought a lot of Nigeria, good people, plenty of Nigerians in the USA, UK and surely other places and I usually feel like it is fortunate they are here. Ditto for a number of their Priests who come to the United States.

I’m also aware that in the 1960s, early '70s, they had the Nigerian civil war, Biafra, all of that which were very bad wars. They’ve also had long time problems with “War Lords” whom under the last administration were actually bought off, “we will buy you off so you are not causing trouble” which has worked to an extent.

So, there is certainly a lot to ponder on hearing a story such as “Government Troops commit a massacre”, very alarming in itself but maybe there is a bit more to the story.

Something to watch.


The truth as often is probably somewhere in between of these stories.


But again, like you said originally, I don’t know what to make of this. I mean, the cops killing four people is quite a contrast to a thousand plus people being butchered, which if piled up would be a mountain of corpses a hundred feet tall. It’s just insane that the media could manage to proffer both images as an accurate depiction of reality. It’s a good story to illustrate how blind and at the media’s mercy we really are.:shrug:

I try to stay reasonbly aware of what’s going on in Africa, but I find it distressingly difficult. Seriously, it almost makes me worry about myself. I fear I’m just not up to the task.:frowning: I can focus on small areas of Africa, though. It’s unrelated to this particular story, but check out Boko Haram in Niger sometime, while simultaneously researching their uranium resources. I don’t know. I suspect one could draw some kind of valid comparison between Nigerian Shiite massacres and Nigerian oil, with what’s going on with Boko Haram. Honestly, Africa is just too foreign for me to get a good handle on. Which bums me out.



Chidi Odinkalu of the Nigerian Human Rights Commission called the attacks “a massacre”. He posted photos on social media showing a bulldozer tearing apart a Shia shrine, but doubts later emerged about whether the image was actually from Zaria. He also said Zakzaky’s home was destroyed.

Odinkalu told the AP news agency that Zakzaky suffered four bullet wounds and one of his wives was killed in raids that began on Saturday and ended Monday morning. He was quoting the family doctor.

How will Buhari’s cabinet fix Nigeria’s problems?

Two of Zakzaky’s sons were also killed and one was wounded, according to Musa.

Odinkalu and other human rights activists said there are hundreds of bodies at the mortuary of the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital on the outskirts of Zaria.

Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, who was in charge of the military operation, told reporters on Monday that the military acted because they had reports that members of the Shia minority were gathering for an attack.

“Of course, because of the report I got that they are mobilising, I had to order that the Gyallesu [Zakzaky’s residence] and Huissaniya [shrine] be brought down,” he said.

He said both the military and the Shia demonstrators suffered casualties and that the dead were still being counted.


Perhaps so.

Thank you for contributing and Thank you to Gary Taylor as well.


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