The Nigerian Army said three members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) or Shi’ite sect, died on Monday at the Kugbo/Karu bridge junction during an encounter with troops in the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja
A statement posted on the Nigerian Army facebook account: http://www.facebook.com/hqnigerianarmy on Tuesday, said four soldiers sustained injuries during the encounter.
However, some media reports on Tuesday put the death toll at 16. Some gave 50.
The army said the fatalities arose when the sect members attacked troops deployed at a checkpoint at the junction at about 3:p.m.
“The sect in massive numbers forced their way into the troops checkpoint after overrunning the Police Force.
“The Police withdrew back to troops position to join efforts to repel them.
“They fired weapons, 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.
“However, troops repelled the attack in conjunction with the Nigerian Police Force to stop the situation from further deteriorating,” the statement said.
The statement, however, said normalcy had been restored in the general area and there was now free flow of traffic.
It called on members of the public living within Abuja and environs to go about their normal activities without fear of molestation.
“The Nigerian Army will not deter in carrying out its constitutional roles and also safeguarding law abiding citizens,” it said.