Iran slams attacks on Ashura gatherings in Afghanistan, Nigeria

Iran slams attacks on Ashura gatherings in Afghanistan, Nigeria

Iranian Foreign Ministry has strongly denounced a series of attacks against Ashura mourners in Afghanistan and Nigeria.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi reminded the Nigerian government of its responsibility to ensure the safety of mourners attending such religious processions.

The Iranian official underlined the need for the perpetrators of the crime to be brought to justice.

"The violent and brutal measures by extremists and Wahhabi-affiliated forces against Shias and mourners of Imam Hussein have to be stopped, and perpetrators of such acts need to be immediately arrested and brought to justice," the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

About a dozen people lost their lives and several others were wounded when Nigerian forces opened fire at Shia mourners in the cities of Kaduna and Funtua on Wednesday. The troops fired tear gas and live bullets at the mourners in the two cities.

A house belonging to prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, was also set alight in Kaduna during the clashes between mourners and Nigerian forces.

The clashes came as tensions are already running high between the regime and Nigeria's Shia Muslims who have been demanding the release of Sheikh Zakzaky.

Zakzaky was arrested last December after his house was raided following deadly clashes that left hundreds of Shias dead.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian spokesperson also censured the deadly attacks against worshippers and mourners in Afghanistan over the past 24 hours, which killed nearly 30 people and injured dozens more.

“The massacre of defenseless mourners in Afghanistan reveals the insatiable grudge of terrorists and their supporters against the unity of the Islamic Ummah,” Qassemi said.

The Iranian spokesman also called on all international and regional players to seriously counter terrorism.

On Wednesday, at least 14 Afghan civilians were killed in a bomb blast outside a mosque which targeted a group of Shias following ceremonies commemorating Ashura in northern Balkh province.

The attack in Balkh came a day after a mass shooting against Shia worshippers at a shrine in the capital, Kabul, claimed the lives of 14 people. The Daesh Takfiri terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the deadly gun attack in Kabul.

It is worthy to mention that Imam Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic, through his historic speeches and messages denounced Wahhabi-inspired extremist militant groups which were playing into hands of colonial powers to harm unity of Muslim societies and sow seeds of discord among them.


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