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Nigeria officials raze Muslim group’s buildings

This video grab image shows a bulldozer razing a Husseiniyeh, a building used for religious ceremonies for Imam Hussein (PBUH), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna.

Nigerian authorities have razed buildings belonging to the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) as a government crackdown on the Muslim group gains force.

IMN officials said the government forces razed several buildings, which included schools, hospitals, and religious seminaries, in the cities of Zaria and Saminaka in the northern state of Kaduna.

Officials with the Muslim group also said that the latest demolitions took place without prior notification to the group, which they said had done nothing to provoke the government to take such drastic measures against it.

The demolition of IMN buildings comes after the brutal killing of some 100 members of the group, who had gathered on Monday to take part in a religious ceremony ahead of the upcoming Arba’een mourning rituals.

Arba’een marks 40 days after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Many more were also injured when government forces fired live rounds and tear gas at Shia mourners taking part in a peaceful march in the northern city of Kano.

IMN and its supporters have been the victims of a government crackdown since last year.

In December 2015, Nigerian forces raided the house of the IMN’s leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, in Zaria.

This file photo released on social media shows the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) Sheikh Zakzaky while being arrested after being shot by Nigerian soldiers in December 2015.

The government forces shot and injured Zakzaky after killing his companions, including one of the movement’s senior leaders. Zakzaky was then taken to an unknown location and still remains in the custody of government forces.

The raid occurred a day after Nigerian soldiers attacked a group of Muslims attending a ceremony at a religious center in the city of Zaria, accusing them of blocking the convoy of the army’s chief of staff and attempting to assassinate him, an accusation that the Muslims rejected as baseless.

The Islamic Human Rights Commission released a report, saying the Nigerian army killed 348 Muslims during the attack on the religious ceremony.

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