Scores dead as Shiites battle Army, police in Abuja showdown
Scores of Shiites members were feared dead in Abuja as the Islamic sect engaged a platoon of security men made of Army and the police in fierce gun duel In Karu area of Abuja.
A witness who scurried to safety from the scene said: “I have never seen anything close to this. People were being shot and more were advancing not minding the bullets. These Shiites are daring. They are young and clearly they were not afraid of bullets. They were not afraid to die.
“Initially, the securitymen were shooting into the air to scare the Shiites who had blocked the Karu bridge side of the Abuja-Nyanya-Keffi road but the Shiites kept advancing and shooting at the security men. Some had machetes and clubs and it was obvious they were not afraid of death”.
The witness who preferred not to be named called for a more decisive action against what he described as impunity of the Shiite members.
“They just blocked the road. People are holed up in traffic for hours because of them; this is unacceptable”, he said.
As at the time of filing this report, shooting was going on with the security men calling for reinforcement. Residents of Karu said they heard consistent gunshots for hours.
The confrontation started about 4.30pm Monday following a procession embarked by members of Shiite who were chanting songs and advancing towards Abuja after effectively blocking traffic in and out of Karu.
Their procession was said to have started from Nasarawa area and continued towards Nyanya and Karu enroute to Abuja city centre before they were confronted by a garrison of military personnel. The confrontation resulted in gun duel that shattered the peace of the communities sending motorists and commuters scurrying to safety.