Members of the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) on Monday morning clashed with the police in Kano city with many feared dead.
A witness said the clash started around Tamburawa, on the outskirts of Kano city, when the police tried to stop a Shiite protest.
Over a dozen people including a police officer are feared killed from the violent clash.
The police have since deployed heavily armed mobile police officers to the area while the major Kano- Zaria road is completely blocked.
The IMN had late on Sunday accused Nigerian soldiers of plotting to block its members heading to Kano from Yobe State while also planting weapons on them.
“Soldiers mounted a check point at the outskirts of Potiskum, Yobe state, probably to stop members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) from leaving the town to join others in this year’s annual Arbaeen Trek to Zaria, mourning the martyrdom of Imam Husain (AS) scheduled to commence from Kano this week,” Ibrahim Musa, a spokesperson for the group said.
“The soldiers detained a trailer carrying the personal belongings of those going to Kano for the trek today.
“Apparently, the soldiers have some sinister motives as they were overheard scheming to plant weapons in the luggage and thereafter claim that these bags with the weapons belong to members of the IMN.
“Throughout the nearly four decades of the existence of the IMN, it has never stockpiled, carried or used weapons. It never had any cause to, even in the face of provocation.
“IMN therefore wishes to alert the general public over this evil plot, and categorically reject and disown any attempt by the security services to plant any fake evidence against members of the Islamic Movement (IMN).”
The spokesperson for the army, Sani Usman, could not be reached to comment for this story. Multiple calls to his telephone did not connect.