A number of Nigerian Shia Muslims on a religious procession have been shot during clashes with police in the northern city of Kano, reports say.
At least 10 pilgrims were killed, the AFP reported. Police said one officer had died, Reuters reported.
The group behind the procession, the Iran-backed Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), has a history of tension with the security forces.
Last December troops killed 349 of its members during a crackdown.
Investigating clashes between Nigeria’s Shia and the army
A journalist travelling with the procession told the BBC that many marchers had been shot in the latest violence, which took place on the outskirts of Kano.
Officers blocked the road leading to Zaria in neighbouring Kaduna state, the destination for the seven-day march, local media reported.
An unnamed police officer told AFP that officers had opened fire after they were met with violence from pilgrims.
“I saw 15 bodies sprawled on the ground before the police evacuated them,” grocer Ilyasu Ammani told AFP.
The IMN is Nigeria’s biggest Shia organisation and has its headquarters in Zaria.
It has been outlawed in Kaduna state for carrying out unlawful processions.
Its followers have been involved in a series of clashes with the security forces and attacks by Sunni militants.
In October, 10 IMN members were reported to have been killed in northern Katsina state following clashes with security forces during a religious celebration.
In August, a judicial review said Nigerian troops should be prosecuted for the killings in Zaria last December. IMN leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky was shot and then detained during the crackdown and remains in custody.
Meanwhile, last year’s Shia procession from Kano to Zaria saw more than 20 people killed in an attack by a suicide bomber from the Boko Haram Sunni Islamist militant group.
Security forces were ordered to stay away from last year’s procession following deadly clashes in previous years.
Shia in Nigeria
Shia are minority in Nigeria but their numbers are increasing
The IMN, formed in the 1980s, is the main Shia group led by Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky
They operate their own schools and hospitals in some northern states
They have a history of clashes with the security forces
The IMN is backed by Shia-dominated Iran and its members often go there to study
Sunni jihadist group Boko Haram condemns Shias as heretics who should be killed