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Banned Nigeria Shia group says police kill 15 at march

LAGOS, Nigeria — A Shia Muslim group in Nigeria that is banned by the government says 15 of its members were shot to death during processions marking a Muslim holiday.

Ibrahim Musa, spokesman for the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, said Tuesday the deaths occurred in different parts of the country when security forces used tear gas and live ammunition at Ashura mourning processions. Musa says the casualty figures will likely rise.

Police spokesman Frank Mbah was not immediately available for comment.

Police this week warned that all gatherings by the Shia group would be considered illegal and “would be treated as a gathering in the advancement of terrorism.”

In July, the government banned the group, describing it as a terrorist organization after a series of protests demanding the release of their leader.

The Associated Press