Nigerian army uses Trump’s words to defend shooting
Nigeria’s army on Friday posted a video of US president Donald Trump saying soldiers would shoot migrants throwing stones to justify Nigerian troops opening fire on a Shiite group this week.
“Please watch and make your deductions,” the army said on its official Twitter account.
In the video, Trump warns that soldiers deployed to the Mexican border could shoot Central American migrants who throw stones at them while attempting to cross illegally.
“They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back,” Trump said.
“I told them [troops] consider it [a rock] a rifle. When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexican military and police, I say consider it a rifle.”
Nigeria defence spokesperson John Agim said the army had posted the video in response to criticism that its security forces had acted unlawfully.
The Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) said 49 of its members had been killed after the army and police fired live bullets at crowds who marched near and in the capital Abuja.
The army’s official death toll was six.
Amnesty International said on Wednesday it had strong evidence that police and soldiers had used automatic weapons against IMN members and killed about 45 people in an “unconscionable use of deadly force by soldiers and police”.
The US embassy in Nigeria said on Thursday it was concerned and called for an investigation.
“The video was posted in reaction to the Amnesty International report accusing the army of using weapons against pacifist Shiite protesters,” Agim said. “Not only did they use stones but they were carrying petrol bombs, machetes and knives, so yes, we consider them as being armed.”