Pacific Press/Sipa USA/NewscomNigeria's military today justified the deaths of Shia protesters using U.S. President Donald Trump's remarks suggesting American soldiers might fire on rock-throwing migrants.
"They want to throw rocks at our military-our military fights back", Trump said Thursday.
"Please watch and make your deductions", said the army in a post on its official Twitter account.
The Nigerian army posted - then later deleted - a video on Twitter of President Donald Trump bashing the migrant caravan heading north through Mexico.
Human rights activists and many Nigerians were outraged at the military's response, which echoed a similar confrontation in 2015, when soldiers killed almost 350 protesters from the same group, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, the largest and most recognizable face of Shiite Islam in the country.
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The clashes came hours after the Saudi-UAE alliance said it had bombed Sanaa International Airport and an adjoining airbase. After UN-backed peace talks collapsed in September, the coalition announced it was relaunching an assault on Hodeida.
The Nigerian Army has defended its use of fire power in the wake of attacks from protesters in the capital, Abuja. While the Nigerian government put the number of those killed by gunfire at 3 according to New York Times, International organizations such as Amnesty International put the number of deaths at more than 40. He also said the USA military is trained to fight back against anyone in the migrant caravan who throw rocks at soldiers.
"They met the soldiers in the call of their duty, and the soldiers tried to defend themselves", The Guardian quoted army spokesman John Agim as saying. We are not going to put up with that.
"When they throw rocks. consider it as a rifle", Trump said in the video. When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexico military and police, I say consider it a rifle. What did David use to kill Goliath?
The IMN leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky, has been in custody since 2015, when an army crackdown allegedly killed 300 of his supporters who were buried in mass graves, according to rights groups. Videos of the confrontations show the military opening fire as protesters hurl rocks, and shooting numerous fleeing demonstrators in the back, The New York Times reported.
"So, a stone is a weapon", he said.
Nigeria, Africa's largest economy, is nearly evenly split between a mostly Muslim north - which is predominantly Sunni - and a largely Christian south. A few days ago, three white men seeking a lenient prison sentence after being convicted for plotting to bomb Somali Muslim refugees in Kansas filed a sentencing memorandum blaming the president's Islamophobic rhetoric for persuading them to do so.