The United States Embassy has reacted to clashes between members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria and security operatives in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The US Embassy issued a statement on Thursday (today), calling for restraints from both sides. The statement read;
The United States Embassy is concerned by the deaths resulting from clashes between Nigerian security forces and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria in areas surrounding Abuja. We urge Government of Nigeria authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of the events and to take appropriate action to hold accountable those responsible for violations of Nigerian law. We urge restraint on all sides.
The crisis first unfolded on Saturday as troops from the Army Headquarters Garrison at Zuba, Gwagwalada Area Council of the FCT, reportedly gunned down six followers of the sect. The Army, however, claimed responsibility for three deaths.
Since the clash at Zuba, there has been heavy security presence in all the major entry points into the city, in an attempt to restrain to sect.
The Shiite members kick started their annual Arbaeen symbolic trek on Sunday, which also served as cover for a protest march against the continued detention of their spiritual leader by the federal authorities, with the crisis going on throughout the three days of the march/protest.