The Boko Haram Takfiri terrorist group has claimed responsibility for a fatal bomb blast targeting Muslims during a Shia religious procession at a mosque near Kano city in northern Nigeria.
The terrorists have pledged to continue deadly attacks on Shia Muslims across the country.
The group said in a Saturday statement on social media that such attacks against Shias “will continue.”
On Friday, a bomber detonated his explosives among a crowd of Shia Muslims participating in a march organized by followers of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria in Dakasoye village south of Kano, the capital of the province with the same name.
Thousands of people were heading from Kano to Zaria, in the neighboring state of Kaduna.
The leaders of Nigeria’s Shia community said, however, that the deadly blast will not deter Nigeria’s Shia community from continuing to perform religious duties. Participants of the big march reportedly continued to move toward Zaria despite the bombing.
“Following the attack, many more of our members have joined the procession,” said an organizer of the procession, adding that people were heading to Zaria to meet the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky.
Ali Kakaki, one of the organizers of the march, said, “For now, we have 22 deaths following the death of one more person yesterday. Thirty-eight people have also been injured, two of whom have been discharged from the hospital.”
Boko Haram’s attack on Shias came days before members of the community are going to commemorate Arbaeen, the 40th day since the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the third Shia Imam, and his followers in the Battle of Karbala, which is to fall on December 2 this year.
In a similar attack in November 2014, Boko Haram killed over a dozen people in the town of Potiskum in Yobe State.
And in late September, coordinated attacks by Boko Haram killed more than 50 people, including worshipers at a mosque, bystanders and football fans watching a televised match in the northern city of Maiduguri.
Al-qaeda has criticised Boko Haram, its former Nigerian affiliate, for indiscriminately killing fellow Muslims. In March, Boko Haram joined the Islamic State group (ISIS). Boko Haram’s six-year uprising has killed some 20,000 people.