One person was confirmed dead on Tuesday and more than fifteen others injured following a clash between the police and members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shiites.
The incident occurred when members of the movement who are demanding the release of Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, their leader, marched from the National Human Rights Commission in the Maitama area of the nation’s capital Abuja and met a combination of police and civil defence officers who attacked them, Muhammadu Gamawa, a spokesperson for the IMN in Abuja told ARISE News.
“The intention was to go to the National Human Rights Commission, but the combination of police officers and civil defence in fifteen hiluxes attacked us. That kind of vehicle is only used when they are probably in pursuit of Boko Haram insurgents,” Mr Gamawa said.
“So far I can confirm that one person has been confirmed dead and more than fifteen of our members have been arrested. They also arrested about ten of our members,” he added.
Eyewitnesses said the police had fired shots and teargas canisters to disperse the protesting Shiites when one of them got hit by a bullet.
El-Zakzaky, the leader of IMN has been in detention since December 2015 after members of Shi’ites and officers of the Nigerian Army clashed in Zaria, Kaduna state. More than 300 shiites members were killed during the clash, but the Army has denied the figure.
The Nigerian government has refused to release him despite a court order.
By Abel Ejikeme