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El-Zakzaky: Many reported dead as police clash with Shiites in Abuja

Many reported dead as police clash with El-Zakzaky followers in Abuja

A social media footage showed protesters hurling stones at police vehicles near the Unity Fountain.

Many members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shi'a Muslims have allegedly been shot dead by the police following a clash in Abuja on Monday, April 16.

The IMN members had staged a protest demanding the of their detained leader Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who has been in police custody for over two years.

El-Zakzaky is being held by the Federal Government without trial and despite court orders for his release.

In defiance of the police ban on protests at the Unity Fountain in Abuja, hundreds of the Shiites marched to the area, resulting in violence.

Last Friday, the police banned any demonstration at the park after the IMN, Bring Back Our Girls Group and advocacy movements stormed the place for protests.

The groups have since condemned the ban, describing it as autocratic, illegal and a breach of their fundamental human right.

A social media footage showed protesters hurling stones at vehicles near the park and Transcorp Hilton Hotel.


Casualties figure

IMN leaders said over 200 members of the group were arrested during the protest but the police figure contradicted that.

The police also dismissed the reports that some of the Shiites were killed in the incident.

"One hundred and fifteen (115) members of the sect were arrested at the scene by police operatives," the Abuja police spokesperson, Anjuguri Manzah, said in a statement issued on Monday night.

ALSO READ: Shiite leader El-Zakzaky reportedly suffers stroke in detention

He said 22 police officers were injured.

Manzah said, "Contrary to speculations from some sections of the media, no life was lost in the violent protest.

"Joint team of detectives from the command and operatives from the IGP Monitoring Unit have commenced investigation into the incident.

"The arrested suspects will be charged to court upon the conclusion of investigation."

The police also said that they recovered catapults, iron bars, stones, ball bearings and pink head bands from the suspects.

But other reports accused alleged that the police used teargas, water cannons and live ammunition on the protesters.

Bob Alash Photo

Bob Alash is a Chief Editor at Meets Media, a digital journalist who reports on News and some other section of our website.

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