Shiites Vow To Continue Protest

Nigeria Army tweets Trump video to justify armed protest clampdown

Nigeria's military said it killed six people and claims the protesters had fired first.

The Nigerian Army on Friday cited President Trump's immigration speech from a day earlier to justify shooting and killing protesters who had thrown rocks at its troops.

"Basic human rights are not subject to whims of the world's leaders".

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) had declared that 46 of its members were killed after policemen and officers of the Nigerian Army opened fire on the protesters.

The IMN leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky, has been in custody since 2015, when an army crackdown allegedly killed 300 of his supporters who were buried in mass graves, according to rights groups.

However, an investigation by Amnesty International found the body count to have been much higher. Nigeria's defense spokesman, Brigade General John Agim, said in a statement that the demonstrators wounded soldiers with rocks, damaged military vehicles, blocked traffic and tried to overrun a military checkpoint that leads into the federal capital territory. During those clashes, soldiers killed almost 350 members of the group, which organizes frequent religious treks and protest marches. As of Friday morning, the northernmost caravan was in the southwestern Mexican city Matias Romero - still weeks away from the USA border, according to PolitiFact.

The Nigerian army quickly seized on Trump's comments, posting a video of Trump's speech on Twitter and telling viewers to draw deductions.

"We're not going to put up with that", Trump said in the clip.

Mr. Trump made the remarks at the White House Thursday, saying of the migrants, "They want to throw rocks at our military - our military fights back".

The army deleted the post hours later without explanation after it had caused an uproar on social media.

In its own version of the report, TheCable quotes the Nigerian Army as saying: "They (the Shiites) fired weapons at own troops, throwing bottle canisters with fuel, large stones, catapults with risky objects and other unsafe items at troops causing bodily harm and stopping motorist movement, breaking their windscreen and causing heavy traffic".

"We released that video to say if President Trump can say that rocks are as good as a rifle, who is Amnesty International?" a Nigerian Army spokesman said.

"It seems the Nigerian military are deliberately using tactics created to kill when dealing with IMN gatherings". He said 13 other protesters were killed during two other marches this week, one before and one after Monday's deadly march. Worldwide law is clear that security forces policing demonstrations must not use unnecessary or excessive force against protesters unless they pose an imminent threat of death or serious injury, and only if there is no lesser way to avert such threat.

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