Army deletes tweet justifying killing of Shiites amid criticisms
Nigeria’s military is facing criticism after sending out a tweet that appeared to use President Donald Trump’s comments as justification for shooting and killing protesters in the West African nation, reports the Associated Press.
The tweet, which has since been deleted, referenced a video of Trump where he suggested that U.S. soldiers on the country’s southwestern border may open fire if migrants throw rocks at them. Trump insisted Friday that he meant that rock-throwers would be arrested.
The tweet on the Nigerian army’s Twitter account stated: “Please Watch and Make Your Deductions.”
The military did not return calls seeking comment on the deleted tweet.
Nigeria’s main Shiite Muslim movement says the army killed at least 50 of its members who were protesting this week. Nigeria’s military said it killed six people and claims the protesters had fired first.
The leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) otherwise known as Shiites, El-Zakzaky, had been in detention for about three years despite court orders to free him. His followers had been clashing with Nigeria’s security authorities. They insist that despite losing members to bullets fired by Nigerian security personnel, they will not stop protesting.
They have continued to justify their protest, saying it was part of their religious rites and to draw attention to the continued incarceration of their spiritual leader.
The group majorly found in the North especially Kaduna State, their operational headquarters, says they have strong ties with Iran.
Though unarmed, they have a penchant of blocking major roads during their protests and processions including blocking the movement of military personnel.