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March 30, 2023

Three injured as police disperse Shi’ite protesters

Ondo, monarch

Shi’ite Protest: Members of Shi’ite clash with Police during their protest at the Central District of Abuja calling for release of their Leader El ZakZaky . Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan.

By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja

Three members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, sustained injuries on Thursday when police allegedly fired gunshots and tear gas canisters to disperse them while protesting near the Federal Secretariat, Abuja.

The IMN members are popularly known as Shi’ites.

Our correspondent could not immediately confirm whether the victims were injured by bullets or other projectiles.

The group, which began their protest march from the Federal High Court on Tigris Crescent in Maitama, were demanding the release of the travel documents of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, when police arrived.

The procession ended abruptly at the Eagle Square junction as the protesters, commuters and commercial motorists scampered to safety.

An eyewitness said the injured Shi’ite members were quickly taken to an undisclosed hospital for treatment, adding that the “sudden and unexpected”.

A Shi’ite leader, Abdulaziz Mustafa, confirmed the development, saying he had received reports that three sect members were shot by police in the leg “while on a peaceful protest at the Federal Secretariat”.

He condemned the attack, insisting that they had the right to engage in a peaceful assembly.

Recall that the Shi’ites had clashed with security forces several times when El-Zakzaky and his wife were incarcerated, resulting in the arrest and prosecution of many of them over a three-and-half year period.