Nigerian army's defense after shooting protesters? Trump's remarks on the migrant caravan

Nigerian army's defense after shooting protesters? Trump's remarks on the migrant caravan

Nigerian army's defense after shooting protesters? Trump's remarks on the migrant caravan

The Nigerian army, part of a military criticized for rampant human rights abuses, used the words of President Donald Trump on Friday to justify its fatal shootings of rock-throwing protesters.

The commander-in-chief said rocks would be considered the same as firearms if thrown at U.S. troops whom he had deployed to the southern border, warning that the Americans could shoot the migrants if attacked.

"We're not going to put up with that", Trump said in the clip. "They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back", the president said. "I told them [troops] consider [a rock] a rifle". When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexico military and police, I say consider it a rifle.

The number of Shia Muslim protesters killed by Nigeria's army in the capital, Abuja, in clashes which began at the weekend, has not been independently verified.

In the wake of the deadly violence earlier this week, the United States embassy in Abuja urged the Nigerian government to "conduct a thorough investigation of the events and to take appropriate action to hold accountable those responsible for violations of Nigerian law".

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) had declared that 46 of its members were killed after policemen and officers of the Nigerian Army opened fire on the protesters.

Violence in Nigeria stems from the detainment of Islamic Movement of Nigeria leader Ibraheem Zakzaky.

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Asked about the president's remarks, a Pentagon spokesperson said, "We will not discuss hypothetical situations or specific measures within our rules on the use of force, but our forces Are trained professionals who always have the inherent right of defense".

On Thursday, 120 of 400 IMN members arrested by police on Monday were charged with 'rioting, disturbance of public peace and causing hurt, ' said a court official in Abuja on Friday.

The Army has previously tweeted photos of wounded soldiers who suffered from rock pelting religious protesters seeking the release of their detained leader. "But they do that with us, they're going to be arrested for a long time".

Nigeria's defence spokesman, John Agim, said the army posted the video in response to criticism that its security forces had acted unlawfully, The Guardian UK reports. What did David use to kill Goliath? The army is claiming it killed only six, and that they were armed.

But that did not stop the army from pointing to Trump's comments about Central American migrants and refugees as justification.

Soldiers had arrived to assist police, a news release said, and were met with protesters who threw canisters of fuel, "large stones, catapults with risky objects and other unsafe items". The IMN said that the military killed at least 49 people with their live bullets.

Amnesty International had described the firing of live ammunition to disperse a peaceful gathering without warning as a "clear violation of Nigerian and international law".

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