The Nigerian military has deleted a tweet which appeared to use President Donald Trump’s words to justify its use of lethal force against a group of protesters last week.
The army, which has come under fire for alleged human rights abuses, tweeted a video of Trump suggesting immigrants could be shot if they throw rocks at the U.S. military with the caption “Please Watch and Make your Deductions.”
The video is a clip from a speech Trump gave at the White House on Thursday in which he announced his administration was preparing to change the country’s asylum practices in light of a migrant caravan fleeing danger in Central America that is headed for the United States.
“They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back,” the president told reporters. “I told them to consider it a rifle. When they throw rocks like what they did to the Mexican military and police, I say consider it a rifle.”
Trump later walked back his comments, saying migrants who throw stones at members of the military at the U.S. border will be arrested. He said he hoped “they won’t have to fire” and disputed how his previous comments were perceived by the public.
“I didn’t say shoot,” Trump said. “I didn’t say shoot. But if they do that with us they’re gonna be arrested for a long time.”
The Nigerian military tweet seemed to reference violence against protesters that occurred over the weekend. An Amnesty International report found that Nigerian soldiers and police killed at least 45 supporters and injured 122 others of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria over the course of two days. The group was holding a peaceful religious procession in the capital, Abuja.
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SOURCE: USA Today, N’dea Yancey-Bragg