Shia Muslim mourners ‘killed’ in Nigeria

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A wounded man in Nigeria

At least 13 people are reported to have been killed and a mosque torched in violence which has swept through parts of northern Nigeria as Shia Muslims mark the martyrdom of a revered Islamic figure, a UK-based campaign group has said.

Security forces opened fire on followers of the pro-Iranian Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) in the northern town of Funtua in Katsina state, reportedly killing nine people, the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) said in a statement.

Three people are so far reported to have been killed in Kaduna city, a stronghold of the IMN, where the main mosque used by its followers was also set on fire, it added in a statement.

Another fatality was reported in the north-western state of Sokoto, IHRC said.

Shia are holding annual processions across the world to mark the day of Ashura, when the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson was killed in 680 AD.

The processions have been banned in some northern Nigerian states, where most people belong to the rival Sunni Muslim sect.

The security forces have not yet commented on IHRC’s allegations.

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