Police Arrest 400 Shiites Over Violent Protest
The police say they have arrested 400 members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) popularly known as Shiites, over the violent protest that rocked Abuja on Tuesday.
Members of the group had taken to some parts of the nation’s capital in protest against the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky.
The demonstration eventually resulted in a clash between the group and security operatives, leading to their arrest by personnel of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command of the Nigeria Police Force.
FCT Commissioner of Police, Mr Bala Ciroma, confirmed the arrest while addressing a news conference at the Command Headquarters in Abuja.
Ciroma explained that some members of the group were arrested for being in possession of about 31 bottles of petrol bomb made out of improvised explosive devices and other dangerous weapons.
He revealed that the protesters burnt a police rapid response squad patrol vehicle deployed in Adetokunbo Ademola crescent area.
The police commissioner said the suspects would be arraigned in court as soon as investigations were completed.
Tuesday’s clash followed a face-off between the protesters and security operatives on Saturday last week, and on Monday.
The Shiites had an encounter with personnel of the Nigerian Military deployed in Zuba, a satellite town on the outskirt of Abuja.
This resulted in the death of no fewer than three persons.
Again, yesterday, members of the Shiite group clashed with soldiers deployed in the Nyanya axis, leading to casualties on both sides.
The Army authorities, in a statement, explained that the Shiites forced their way into the troops’ checkpoint at Kugbo/Karu bridge after overrunning the police.
They confirmed that at least three members of the group died and four soldiers injured while the troops were trying to repel them.
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