Iran 'urges Nigeria to protect Shia population'
Iran has called on Nigeria to take “prompt and serious” action to protect Shia Muslims after dozens of them were allegedly killed in a military crackdown in the north of the country, Tehran-based Tasnim news agency reports.
"It is a worrying incident and prompt measures are needed to calm the situation," it quotes Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif as telling his Nigerian counterpart Geoffrey Onyeama in a phone call.
Nigeria has not commented on the report.
The pro-Iranian Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) said soldiers had killed hundreds of its members during clashes in northern Zaria city over the weekend.
The military has not given casualty figures but said the clashes took place after IMN members attempted to assassinate army chief Gen Tukur Buratai.
The IMN enjoys tremendous support from Iran and many of its members are sponsored to go and study there.
Most of Nigeria's Muslims are Sunnis but the number of Shias is increasing in some areas.