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Nigeria’s Shiites take to the streets, seven dead including a senior officer

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The Islamic Movement in Nigeria’s (IMN) violent protest led to the killing of a Deputy Commissioner of Police and six others in Abuja on Monday, 22 July 2019.

The senior police officer, Usman Umar, was in charge of Operations at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command.

A member of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), who was one of the reporters with the Channels Television, was also killed by a stray bullet.

Many other persons were said to have been shot dead at the Federal Secretariat where the protesters threatened to burn down the sprawling foreign affairs ministry.

The police spokesman, Frank Mba, also stated that two Assistant Superintendents of Police were injured.

The police stressed that the protesters, who were heavily armed, defied all sense of decency and violently attacked innocent citizens and police personnel on duty within the Central Business District of Abuja.

It also states that the protesters razed down a National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Response Post close to the Federal Secretariat, Abuja and two vehicles.

Meanwhile, the police say they have arrested 54 suspects in connection with the incidents, adding that the suspects are undergoing interrogation and will be arraigned in court as soon as possible.

The IGP, while commiserating with the family of the late DCP, condemned the incident and warned that ‘Enough-is-Enough’ as the Force and the nation at large will not continue to suffer losses on account of reckless and lawless persons and groups in the society.

The Shiites have been protesting the detention of their spiritual leader, Sheik Ibrahim Zakzaky, who has been facing homicide trial since December 2015.

The protest, which began from NITEL junction at Wuse zone 2, was disrupted by armed policemen, who cordoned off the road leading to the national assembly and three arms zone.

Mba urged residents of Abuja to be calm and reported that “There is a violent protest currently ongoing by members of the El-Zakzakky Group in some parts of the FCT – particularly the Central Business District and the Three Arms Zone. The Police are taking adequate measures to bring the situation under control,” he said.

“Citizens are advised to remain calm and avoid the affected areas in the interim. The Police will keep the public abreast with further development,” he said.



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