A Nigerian Shia team banned by the government explained police killed 12 of customers and wounded 10 other individuals through marches in the north of region to mark the spiritual commemoration recognized as Ashoura.

Spokesman Ibrahim Musa reported the Shia marchers had been killed in the northern states of Kaduna, Bauchi, Gombe, Sokoto, and Katsina on Tuesday.

“The Islamic Movement in Nigeria has confirmed the killing of at least a dozen Ashoura mourners throughout the nation in the course of the peaceful Ashoura mourning procession these days,” said Musa. 

The group, the Islamic Motion of Nigeria (IMN), was banned in July after a series of lethal clashes with law enforcement. IMN mentioned the police ended up liable for the fatalities of at minimum twenty individuals in July but the police gave no death toll.

Law enforcement in the northern metropolis of Kaduna, in which IMN said three were killed and ten hurt on Tuesday, disputed the account and said it dispersed marchers “professionally”.

A nationwide law enforcement spokesman did not quickly respond to a ask for for remark.

The team was marching to mark Ashoura, the working day in Islamic custom when the Prophet Mohammed’s grandson, Imam Hussein, died in battle in 1680.

Police experienced warned IMN members not to march, declaring any collecting or procession by team customers is “eventually illegal and will be addressed as a collecting in the progression of terrorism”.

Why has Nigeria banned the most important Shia Muslim team?

Leader imprisoned

IMN said law enforcement attacked its marchers on Tuesday and, in Katsina, opened fire on them. It reported users ended up killed in Bauchi, Gombe and Sokoto states, all in northern Nigeria, but marches in the capital, Abuja, and other northern states finished without the need of incident.

Clashes with police in the last number of weeks followed phone calls by the group for its chief to be unveiled from law enforcement detention.

Their chief, Ibrahim el-Zakzaky, has been held since 2015 when govt forces killed about 350 individuals right after storming an IMN compound and a close by mosque.

While about 50 percent of the virtually 200 million Nigerians are Muslim, mainly concentrated in the north of the place, Shia are a minority.

Last week the United Nations exclusive rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions said she had not been offered with any evidence to recommend IMN was weaponised and posed a menace to Nigeria.