In what may not be far from the insinuations that the military killed thousands of Shiite members in the clash between it and members of the sect in Zaria in December last year, the Kaduna State Government said on Monday that 347 persons were killed during the encounter.
Army had refused to release figure of those Killed during the December 12 clash with members of the movement.
And the leader of Shi’ite Movement, Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, members of his family and others are still been held over the Clash by the army.
The Secretary to the Kaduna State Government (SSG), Alhaji Balarabe Lawal, disclosed this in a government submission at the ongoing Public Hearing of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the clash.
Lawal, who led a six-man government witnesses before the panel, said that 191 corpses were taken from the Nigerian Army Depot, Zaria, and were buried in Mando area in Kaduna. He said 156 corpses were also conveyed from Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria, to the same Mando area.
The SSG said the corpses of youth Members of the Islam Movement (IMN) who allegedly attempted to attack the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Dec. 12, 2015, in Zaria.
The state government said the corpses were committed into a single grave (mass burial) at the Mando area jointly supervised by the state government officials and about 40 men of the Nigerian Army, led by an officer in the rank of a Major.
The SSG said 189 suspects were being prosecuted for alleged involvement in the Zaria crises while one suspect had died in custody.
He said the state government had received several security reports from the Directorate of State Security (DSS) on the activities of the movement.
According to him, several measures had been taken to address the situation before it finally escalated into the clash with the Nigerian Army.
Another witness and Director-General, Kaduna State Interfaith Agency, Mr Namadi Musa, said the mass burial was conducted on Dec. 14 and Dec. 15, respectively, and it took the officials about six hours to complete the burial.
Musa said while six tonnes of Mercedes tippers conveyed the 191 corpses from the ABUTH, the Army used three heavy duty trucks to convey corpses from the Zaria Army Depot.
“The mass burial was authorised through a warrant of burial obtained from a Kaduna Chief Magistrates’ Court in Kaduna,’’ he said.
The state government shifted the blame for the phenomenonal rise of the sect to the inability of the previous governments to curtail the activities of the sect.