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Nigerian army appears to use Trump’s words to defend shooting of protesters


The Nigerian army has hinted in a tweet that comments from US President Donald Trump justify its lethal shooting of Shiite protesters over the past week.

On Friday the Nigerian army posted a video of Trump’s Thursday speech on its official Twitter feed, with the comment: “Please Watch and Make your Deductions.”
CNN has made several requests for comment on the tweet to the Nigerian army, which has faced strong criticism from human rights groups and Nigerians over its actions against the protesters. The tweet has since been removed.
In a speech at the White House Thursday on immigration and asylum policy, Trump suggested US troops could open fire on members of migrant groups headed to the US-Mexico border.
“They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back,” Trump said. “When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexico military and police, I say consider it a rifle,” he said, alleging the migrant group headed to the US clashed with the Mexican police this week.
On Friday, the President reversed his claim that the US would shoot at any rock-throwing migrants crossing into the US.
“They do that with us, they’re going to be arrested. There’s going to be a problem. I didn’t say shoot,” he said.
In the Nigerian capital, Abuja, Monday, soldiers shot at members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) who were taking part in a religious procession and demanding the release of their leader, who has been in detention since 2015.
According to Amnesty International, at least 45 people were killed and 122 people were wounded in the clashes Saturday and Monday. The army, however, said six members of the group died in the clashes and six soldiers were seriously injured.
The army said members of the IMN threw stones at its troops and attacked its convoy carrying ammunition Saturday, adding that the soldiers opened fire in self-defense. Citing evidence collected from videos of the protest and eyewitnesses, Amnesty described the actions of the army and police as a “horrific use of excessive force.”

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