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Again, Shiite members clash with police in Abuja

A protest march by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) demanding the release of their leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky in Abuja has turned violent.

Police Tear Gas El-Zakzaky Protesters in Abuja with Water Canons.
Police officers using tear gas and water to chase members of Academics Forum of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria during a protest demanding the release of their leader, El- Zak Zaky at the entrance of National Human Rights Commission in Abuja. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan

We gathered that trouble started when about 10,000 members of the sect, who were on their way to Unity Fountain, Abuja, yesterday, reacted to an attempt by a detachment of the police to stop them.

A large number of the sect members, who were from the Federal Secretariat headed towards the Unity Fountain in Abuja and refused to turn back as a police van blocked the Shehu Shagari Way.

The police fired live ammunition and tear gas canister to disperse the crowd, but the defiant protesters pushed through the barricade.

A member of the sect, who spoke on condition of anonymity, condemned the attack on the sect describing it as undemocratic and a violation of the rights of the sect to peaceful protest.

“We have been having this protest peacefully. Why did the police come to attack us?” he asked.

The sect members, who were pressing for their leader’s release, later concluded the march at the NICON Junction in Maitama, Abuja.


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