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Army ‘justifies’ killing of Shi’ites with Trump’s ‘consider stones as rifles’ comment

Army ‘justifies’ killing of Shi’ites with Trump’s ‘consider stones as rifles’ comment

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The Nigerian army has again commented on the killing of some members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).

The army on Friday referenced a directive given by US President Donald Trump to his country’s military. He said they should consider stones thrown at them by asylum-seeking migrants as rifles.

IMN members, better known as Shi’ites, had clashed with soldiers in some parts of Abuja.

The army confirmed three Shi’ites dead and four soldiers wounded during the incident but the group said at least 1,000 of its members are missing.

“They (the Shi’ites) fired weapons at own troops, throwing bottle cannisters with fuel, large stones, catapults with dangerous objects and other dangerous items at troops causing bodily harm and stopping motorist movement, breaking their windscreen and causing heavy traffic,” the army had said.

The deaths have been condemned by many Nigerians and rights groups, including Amnesty International, which accused the soldiers of “firing live ammunition to disperse a peaceful gathering without warning”.

The army shared Trump’s video via Twitter on Friday, asking Nigerians to “make your deductions” from the comment.

Trump said in part: “Anybody throwing stones like they did to the Mexican military, Mexican police, where they were badly hurt, we will consider that a firearm.

“We are not going to put up with that.

“They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back. We are going to consider that… I told them consider that a rifle. When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexican military and police, I said ‘consider it a rifle’.”

Some Nigerians criticised the army over the seeming justification of the Shi’ites’ killing.

Below are some of the reactions to the army’s tweet:

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