The Iranian foreign ministry on Wednesday deplored the suicide attack on Shiite mourners in the Northeastern town of Potiskum, Nigeria, and called for the punishment of its perpetrators.
Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham condemned the “inhumane act”, and asked the Nigerian government to provide security for religious ceremonies.
She also underlined the necessity for fight against extremism and terrorist actions in different parts of the world as well as vigilance and unity in the Muslim world.
On Monday, a suicide bomber detonated himself in the Tsohuwar Kasuwa area of the Nigerian town after joining worshippers who were marching to mark Ashura, a solemn day when Shiites mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hossein, a grandson of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), in 680 AD at Karbala in Iraq.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack which killed at least 20 and injured over 50, but suspicion is bound to fall on the Boko Haram terrorist group.
Late in July peaceful rallies by Muslims in Nigeria held on the occasion of the International Quds Day turned violent as Nigerian troops killed a number of participants in a major city in the Northern parts of the country, including the three sons of a prominent Muslim leader who is an opponent of Boko Haram.
The troops attacked peaceful Quds Day rallies in Zaria city in the Northern Nigerian state of Kaduna on Friday, killing at least 14 demonstrators and injuring more than 20 others, the Islamic Human Rights Commission reported in a press release.
Three sons of the Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Zakzaky, including 18-year-old Syed Mahmud Ibrahim Al-Zakzaky, were among the 14 killed in Zaria city.
Dozens of men and women, including three other children of the sheikh, were also arrested during the rallies.
Witnesses say that the soldiers involved in the shooting came from the Military Depot at Sabon Gari Barracks.
Al-Zakzaky has frequently been imprisoned under the various Nigerian juntas and is a fierce critic of political corruption, as well as the so-called Boko Haram movement.
Three truckloads of armed soldiers opened fire at the participants of the rally.
A large number of Nigerians, including members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, came out on the International Quds Day to protest in solidarity with the Palestinians.
The long procession went through streets of the city of Zaria carrying pictures of the massacre in Gaza.
Many have condemned the continuous bombardment of the people of Gaza by the Israeli military resulting in the killing of over 900 civilians, mostly women and children.
The protesters burnt the American and Israeli flags to condemn the occupation of Palestine and the continuous killing of the Palestinians.
Zaria is the second major city in Kaduna State, and near the state capital, Kaduna, where twin bomb blasts killed scores of people earlier this week.
Then further to the shootings and killing of pro-Palestinian protesters at Al-Quds Day march in Zaria, and the subsequent killings in custody of protestors, the army raided the Hussainiyyah Baqiyyatullah Islamic Centre affiliated to the Islamic Movement a day later on July 26 and opened fire killing 3, and injuring 7.
The center where some of the injured from Friday’s massacre (photos are available here) were sheltering, as well as where some of released bodies of those killed were being prepared for burial.
This added to the Quds Day’s death toll. Whilst the reports from the Quds Day massacre indicated that the troops involved were from the Sabon Gari barracks, those in charge there are claiming that the troops involved were in fact sent from Abuja and were not commanded from the locale.
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria is not an armed movement. It has organized peaceful pro-Palestinian demonstrations on annual basis for over 33 years across Nigeria and particularly in the state of Kaduna.
IHRC Chair, Massoud Shadjareh said, “The Goodluck – Netanyahu co-operation is resulting in massacres beyond Gaza’s borders. The blood of these young men and women killed in Nigeria is equally on the hands of both men and regimes.”
Demonstrations and vigils protesting recent events in Nigeria are planned in various cities world-wide.