Mass graves dug by army for victims of Zaria massacre uncovered
Mass grave pix courtesy of Naija247news
Fresh detail have emerged from the controversial Zaria bloodbath
– Political activists calim they have found the alleged mass graves dug by the army in its clash against Shiites
– The graves were reportedly dug to hide the number of Shiites killed in the showdown which held in Zaria
The alleged mass graves dug by the Nigerian army to hide the casualties of the clash with members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, has been uncovered, according to FARS news agency as cited by Naija.com.
The report says that Nigeria's political activists disclosed that they have found a mass grave where hundreds of civilians who were massacred during the Nigerian army's raids on two Shiite religious centers on December 12 and 13 have been dumped.
The mass grave is located in Mando Kaduma cemetery along the Birnin Gwari road near Hajj camp in Kaduna state and over 1,000 Shiites Muslims of Nigeria who were allegedly massacred by the Army have been buried there.
Alleged site, where the Nigerian army buried Shiites en-mass
The political activists (who could not be named for security reasons), disclosed that after massacring the Shiite people in Zaria, the Nigerian army had brought their dead bodies to Kaduna province and buried them in the mass grave.
The activists further revealed that the Nigerian army forces buried and set fire on the corpses of those Shiite Muslims who had been killed during the recent raids in Zaria region.
“The Nigerian army has buried in mass graves and burnt a large number of dead bodies of those Muslims who have been massacred in the recent army forces' attacks,” the activists revealed.
They claimed that the army was attempting to destroy every evidence of its alleged crimes against the suppressed Muslim community, adding that if it had any convincing reason for the mass-killing, it wouldn't resort to such methods to conceal its crimes.
The IMN demanded the setting up of a judicial commission of inquiry to probe the killings of their members in Zaria on December 12 and 13, during its meeting with House of Representatives panel.
The movement also demanded for the unconditional release of their leader Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife who have been in the custody of security agencies since the incident.
Members of the movement made the demand when they appeared before a House of Representatives panel investigating the matter.
Although the meeting was held behind closed-door, a lawmaker at the meeting said that six members of the movement including some lawyers, chairman of their medical team, an associate professor from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and the head of their education section were present.
Site of the alleged mass graves discovered by some political activists
It was also gathered that the movement members demanded for the corpses of their members for proper Islamic burial as well as the release of the injured for medical attention, alleging that hundreds of their members are currently detained in Kaduna prison without being charged to court.
The source said they told the committee that the killings were premeditated based on the way and manner they were carried out and sustained for more than 48 hours.
They said there was no reason for their leader and his wife would be held in custody for weeks without any information on his whereabouts without being charged to court.
It was wrong, they added, for anybody to refer to them as a sect, but that they are a movement comprising of adherents of Shiite, Sunni, Tijjaniyya and even Christian priests.
The source added that they alleged that apart from killing scores and destroying their Hussainiyya center, soldiers also went to where Zakzaky's mother was buried and tried to exhume her body and also destroyed their cemetery at Darur Rahma along Jos-Zaria road.
They further said that when the killings were going on, personnel of the Red Cross who attempted to render help to the injured and evacuate those killed were denied access by soldiers.
After listening to their submissions, the committee chairman Rep Aminu Sani Jaji (APC, Zamfara), said his committee would do a thorough investigation.
He said his committee would intervene for the release of Sheikh Zakzaky and other members of the movement in detention.
The lawmaker said the committee would also visit the movement Hussainiyya, Zakzaky's residence as well as the Darur Rahma, and other affected places to see for themselves.
He promised that he would ensure that justice is done no matter which of the two sides is found guilty.
It would be recalled that the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), an NGO in special consultative status with the economic and social council of the United Nations, affirmed that the Nigerian Army opened fire on a peaceful demonstration in Kaduna.
The IHRC also affirmed claims that the existence of mass graves have been credible, saying that the army dug mass graves and filled them up with bodies of victims of ruthless military actions .