The Nigerian army on Friday justified its killing of rock-throwing protesters earlier this week by sharing a clip of a recent speech from President Trump, in which he says rocks would be considered firearms if thrown by migrants near the U.S. border, reports The New York Times.
The country’s army shared a clip of Trump’s speech from Thursday, writing in the tweet: “Please Watch and Make Your Deductions.”
Please Watch and Make your Deductions. pic.twitter.com/05yVwULFoh
— Nigerian Army (@HQNigerianArmy) November 2, 2018
On Monday, soldiers opened fire at a group of about 1,000 Shi’ite Muslim protesters who had been blocking traffic in the capital, Abuja.
Videos showed some protesters throwing rocks at soldiers, who responded with by opening fire and killing 45 people, according to Amnesty International (AI). Nigeria’s military claims that only three protesters were killed at the march and two smaller ones.
“We released that video to say if President Trump can say that rocks are as good as a rifle, who is Amnesty International?” said John Agim, a spokesperson for Nigeria’s military, in response to AI’s report. “What are they then saying? What did David use to kill Goliath? So a stone is a weapon.”
“Our soldiers sustained injuries,” he told the Times. “The Shiites even burnt one of our vehicles so what are Amnesty International saying?”
The Hill notes:
The Islamic Movement of Nigeria organized the protest. The group seeks the release of its leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky, who has been detained since 2015, according to Pulse NG.
President Trump on Thursday warned that if any member of the migrant caravan, which is currently making its way toward the U.S. border, throws stones or rocks at U.S. military personnel “we will consider it a firearm” and implied that he would authorize them to use lethal force in response.
When asked by a reporter whether members of the military might fire on migrants crossing the southern border, the president said: “I hope not. It’s the military.”
On whether the military at southern border might fire on migrants, Pres Trump says “I hope not.”
“I hope there won’t be that, but I will tell you this – anybody throwing rocks… we will consider that a firearm, because there’s not much difference.” https://t.co/fyk1ncmiwj pic.twitter.com/OGbFHFhB3A
— ABC News (@ABC) November 1, 2018
“I hope there won’t be that, but I will tell you this—anybody throwing stone, rocks, like they did to Mexico and the Mexican military and Mexican police where they badly hurt police and soldiers of Mexico, we will consider that a firearm, because there’s not much difference when you get hit in the face with a rock,” Trump said to reporters in the Oval Office, referring to reports that some migrants threw rocks at Mexican federal police at the Mexico-Guatemala border on Sunday.
Trump described the caravan, currently about 900 miles away from the U.S. border, as an “invasion” despite reports that the numbers of migrants are rapidly decreasing in recent days and no evidence of major gang or terrorist infiltrations.
“They want to throw rocks at our military, our military’s going to fight back. I told them, consider it a rifle,” Trump says of the migrant caravan pic.twitter.com/5xsLO2ImIQ
— tomorraw.com (@tomorrawdotcom) November 1, 2018
“We will consider that the maximum that we can consider that because they are throwing rocks viciously and violently. You saw that three days ago, really hurting the military. We’re not going to put up with that. They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back. We’re going to consider, and I told them consider it a rifle,” Trump added.