EghtesadOnline: Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi on Wednesday strongly condemned the terrorist attack on Ashura mourners in different cities across Nigeria.
'It is necessary that the savage and violent acts of extremist forces and the affiliates of Wahhabi circles against Shiites and Imam Hossein (PBUH) mourners be stopped and their perpetrators to be arrested as soon as possible,' Qasemi said on Wednesday.
He reiterated the Nigerian government's responsibility in protecting the Ashura mourners and maintaining the ceremonies' mourning, and said, 'Unfortunately in some cases these attacks were accompanied with indifference of the Nigerian police.'
The killings on Wednesday came as mourners defied a state ban, holding processions in several cities to mark the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hossein (Peace Be Upon Him), the third Shiite Imam, reports IRNA.
Tensions were already running high between the regime and Nigeria's Shiite Muslims who have been demanding the release of prominent cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky from prison.
The government has imposed a ban to prevent the movement’s supporters from attending ceremonies commemorating the month of Moharram during which Imam Hossein (PBUH) and his 72 companions were martyred 14 centuries ago.
The killings on Wednesday revive the memory of the run-up to the massacre last December of hundreds of IMN supporters by the army and the arrest of Sheikh Zakzaky.