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New York Times Obtains Video Showing Nigerian Soldiers Killing Shiites

New York Times says it has obtained a video showing Nigerian soldiers killing unarmed Shiites protesting against the detention of their leader , Sheikh Ibrahim El Zakzaky .

The Nigerian Army had admitted killing six members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria along the Abuja- Zuba Expressway between October 27 and 29 , 2018 .

The army claimed that the protesters who were armed with stones and petrol bombs attacked soldiers from the Army Headquarters Garrison on official duties , escorting ammunition and missiles from Abuja to the Army Central Ammunition Depot in Kaduna State.

However , New York Times has contradicted the army , saying a video it had obtained had shown that the soldiers shot at civilians who were fleeing the scene .

The report reads, “ But a close review of video from the largest and most deadly of the protests , as well as interviews with more than a dozen witnesses, clearly shows the military opening fire on unarmed demonstrators , sometimes shooting indiscriminately into the crowd at close range as people turned and tried to flee .

“ Photos and videos recorded that day show at least 26 bodies . The group said it had collected a total of 49 bodies during four days of protests .

“ The killings are the latest example of a military that for years has been accused of human rights abuses , with rarely any punishment or action taken , despite President Muhammadu Buhari ’ s promises to crack down on military violations and restore security to the country . ”

According to the American newspaper , some of the corpses had gunshot wounds to the back , indicating that they were shot while fleeing.

It added , “ But the video from the march clearly contradicts those claims . The melee began that day as more than 1 , 000 marchers approached a military checkpoint . Soldiers arrived to block off the road. An armoured vehicle with high -calibre weapons patrolled the highway . After soldiers began to fire , they targeted protesters fleeing the chaos . Many of the injured were shot in the back or legs. ”

The newspaper noted that the killing of Shiite protesters six weeks ago generated little outrage in the country as neither Buhari nor his government’ s critics condemned the killings .

The president ’ s “ turn - a - blind - eye approach has bolstered the military’ s culture of impunity , ” a former top expert on Nigeria for the United States Department of State Matthew Page told
New York Times .

“ Nigerians ’ growing frustration with insecurity — whether it be kidnapping , armed robbery , communal violence or terrorist attacks — outweighs the disgust they feel about human rights abuses by security forces . ”

But the Acting Director , Defence Information, Brig Gen John Agim , who said he had yet to watch the video, denied that soldiers were involved in human rights abuses during the recent protests in the country .

He said the video could have been manipulated to make Nigerian soldiers look bad , calling it “ stage -managed . ”
Agim said Shiite protesters often “ cause a lot of disruption ” .

He added , “ They destroy other people ’ s cars . They disrupt traffic .
“ When they attack the military, what do you expect soldiers to do?”
He said the military had retrieved weapons from protesters , including knives and homemade firebombs . “ Of course , there will be a necessary course of action , ” Agim said .

Amnesty International has disputed statements attributed to the military justifying the killing of Shiite marchers.

Source; https://punchng.com/new-york-times-obtains-video-showing-nigerian-soldiers-killing-shiites/

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