El-Zakzaky: Police disperse Shiite protesters in Abuja with tear gas

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Shiites confronting the police

Operatives of the Nigeria Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, on Monday clashed with members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, otherwise known as Shiites, in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

This was after the protesters stormed the Institute For Peace and Conflict Resolution Abuja, in Abogo Largema, part of Central business District in Abuja. The group had mobilised its members from the North-West and North-East to protest against what they termed perpetual incarceration of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

They lamented El-Zakzaky’s continued detention without trial for over two years. Eyewitness accounts say the visibly-enraged Shiite members threw stones, sticks and other objects they could get at an armoured tank mobilized to the protest scene. They were several attempts by the protesters to break into the armoured vehicle.

The protest is reported to have started from the Unity Fountain, beside Transcorp Hilton, where the Nigerian Army and the US military were holding the African Land Forces Summit for African countries.

The police and soldiers had earlier barricaded major roads leading to the summit, but the Shiites retreated and mobilised with full force to the area.

Soldiers and policemen however prevented the protesters from gaining entry into the area as tear gas were fired and sporadic gunshots were heard in order to disperse the protesters.

This eventually led to resistance as the protesters threw stones at security forces and the police patrol vehicle.

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