Heavily armed policemen on Sunday allegedly opened fire on Shiites members and religious mourners in Zaria and Kaduna soon after completing this year’s Ashura processions, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) has said.

It will be recalled that celebrating Ashura is a religious rite held by Shiites globally on the 10th of Muharram Islamic calendar.

A statement issued by the spokesman of the IMN, Ibrahim Musa revealed that as a consequence of these unprovoked attacks, two people in Kaduna lost their lives while many others were injured in both Kaduna and Zaria.

The statement reads in part: “Ashura processions were held today in major towns and cities across Nigeria including some southern states without any incident.

“Only in Zaria and Kaduna were brutality and violence meted on the peaceful mourners. A number of arrests was also done.

“The Islamic Movement hereby calls on all well-meaning Nigerians and the International community to call el-Rufai to order to force him to desist from further spill of innocent Shiites’ blood.”

When contacted on the incident, the police image-maker, ASP Muhammad Jalige said police were deployed to maintain law and order, saying the police command is yet to receive signal from the DPOs.

Recall, the Kaduna State government had outlawed the activities of the IMN under the guidance of their spiritual leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.