Reflections

How Soldiers Poured Petrol On Us And Set Us On Fire – Zaria Massacre Survivor

One of the lucky survivors of the horrifying Zaria massacre of December 2015, Muhammad Altine, has described how Nigerian soldiers poured petrol on them and set them ablaze.

“They had shot me in the leg earlier close to the Sheikh’s residence,” he explained. “I was taken and brought inside the compound for first aid. That was on Sunday (13th December, 2015).”

It was while receiving first aid that the soldiers broke into the compound and started shooting everyone without warning. “The first aiders, the wounded victims, and everyone there was shot, none was spared.” According to Muhammad Altine, “before long, I was lying along heaps of corpses.”

“Having ensured they had finished with everyone of us, they brought petrol and poured on us and set us ablaze, including those of us who were still alive, and those who had already died.” Describing further the horrifying experience, he said, “each time the fire was about to be go off, they will pour more petrol and rekindle it. This was what they did up to four times.” He explained that it was how he additionally got burnt involving up to his back, beside the gun shot he had.

They called in thugs to assist them in picking the corpses out of the compound to their trucks. However, before each corpse was picked, they search him for valuables and possibility money, and steal from the dead. They also removed other valuables like watches, handsets, necklaces, rings and so on.

It was in the process of searching that they discovered that Muhammad Altine was still alive. At first, they said they would inform the soldiers so that they will come and finish him off. However, one of the thugs said it was his luck that he survived it, and that he has suffered enough. So they picked me and gave me some clothes to change into and took me away through some hidden routes and told me to disappear before the soldiers returned. That was how I survived the atrocious attacks of December 12, 2005.

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