One feared dead, properties destroyed as Police, Shi’ites clash in Abuja Again – Independent Observers

One feared dead, properties destroyed as Police, Shi’ites clash in Abuja Again

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By Temitope Owotoki

 At least one member of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) is feared dead and properties worth millions of Naira destroyed in a bloody clash between the Islamic sect and security forces on Monday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The clash took place within the precincts of the Federal Secretariat Complex, and left a journalist with a popular TV station battling for his life after he was hit by a stray bullet.

Members of the IMN otherwise known as Shi’ites had gathered at Nitel Junction in Wuse II district for a march to the Federal Secretariat complex in continuation of their protest to demand the release of their leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, who has been in detention for alleged murder since December 2015.

However, their street demonstration was intercepted around the Three Zone axis by armed security personnel who condoned off the area to prevent the protesters from continuing their planned protest. In the ensuing melee, sporadic gunshots were fired to disperse the protesters, while several vehicles reportedly belonging to the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, in the vicinity were set ablaze.

Monday’s incident cames about two weeks after two Shiites were killed and two police officers injured after a similar protest turned violent at the National Assembly complex in Abuja.

Following the violent protest at the National Assembly, the police last week directed that protests in Abuja be limited the Unity Fountain, near Transcorp Hilton hotel, Abuja.

That directive appears not to have deterred the Shiites who demand also include the release of El-Zakzaky’s wife, Zeenah.

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