Last December the Nigerian military was urged to “ come clean” over the deaths of 350 civilians who are alleged to have already been shot or burned alive and then dumped in a mass grave following a confrontation in the north of the state.
A fresh report from Amnesty International, including witness testimony and satellite images of a possible mass grave, accuses the military of illegally assaulting members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and then attempting to cover up the atrocities.
Between 12 and 14 December of previous year, more than 350 men, girls and children belonging to the Shia sect are presumed to have already been killed in town of Zaria in Kaduna state. After IMN supporters – some of whom were equipped with batons, knives and machetes – refused to allow an army convoy to pass along a road close to the group’s headquarters violence erupted.
The military has claimed the convoy came under fire and the vehicle taking the Nigerian chief of army staff, General Tukur Buratai, was assaulted with a petrol bomb. IMN members, nevertheless, have denied the claims.