Washington has expressed concern over a recent brutal attack by Nigerian forces on a Muslim procession that led to the death of dozens of people.
US State Department spokesman John Kirby in a statement published on Friday condemned the deadly assault by the Nigerian government on a Muslim gathering, calling it a “disproportionate response” of the police in the violence.
Nearly 100 people were killed on Monday, after the Nigerian government forces fired at mourners during a peaceful march held before the upcoming Arba’een mourning rituals.
In Nigeria and across the world, Shia mourners have been preparing themselves for the upcoming Arbaeen mourning rituals, marking the end of the 40-day mourning period for Imam Hussein (AS), the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (S).
The latest attack on the mourning march in Nigeria occurred when police tried to disperse thousands of people who were marching from Kano to Kaduna state for the mourning rituals.
"The United States is deeply concerned by the deaths of dozens of Nigerians during clashes between individuals participating in a Shia procession and the Nigerian Police Force in Kano State," Kirby said in the statement.
He also urged “calm and restraint on all sides” and added that anyone responsible for violating the law should be held responsible.
20 people were also killed on October 12, when Nigerian forces opened fire on Muslim mourners.