U.S. Deeply Concerned Over Nigerian Shiite Group, Army Clashes

The U.S. said it was deeply concerned about reports of fighting between a Nigerian Shiite Muslim group and the West African nation’s armed forces that have caused the death of civilians.

Nigeria’s government should investigate the weekend clashes in the northern city of Katsina as many details are still unclear, the U.S. Embassy in Abuja said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday.

The Islamic Movement group has said hundreds of it’s members were killed by Nigeria’s military after an assault in Katsina. Protesters in the city of Kaduna were also shot at on Monday, the sect said. The armed forces said their Chief of Army Staff Tukur Buratai was attacked after the group’s members obstructing a main road in Katsina.

The Islamic Movement denies the allegation and said its members were gathering for a religious event. Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, the sect’s spiritual leader, and his wife have been taken into custody by the military.

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