At least three members of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) were said to have been injured as the group clashed with operatives of the Nigeria Police Force in Abuja on Tuesday.
The IMN – who are of the Shi’ite Islamic sect- were protesting by undergoing a procession at the Berger area of Wuse in the nation’s capital when they met the police, who dispersed them using teargas and live bullets.
The Shi’ites were protesting about the continued detention of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat, by the Kaduna State government.
The clear out by the police led to the abrupt end of the procession as the protesters, as well as commuters, fled to safety.
It was unclear if the injured persons were hit by the bullets or other objects.
According to an eyewitness, injured Shi’ite members were quickly taken to an undisclosed hospital for treatment, adding that the “incident was like a movie show”.
Ibrahim Musa, the IMN spokesperson, confirmed the development, noting that he had received reports that two sect members were shot by policemen “while on a peaceful protest at Berger.”
He condemned the attack, insisting that the IMN members had the right to engage in peaceful assembly.