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30 Oct 2018

Police van burnt as violence between Shi’ites and security forces enters day three

A patrol van of the police was set ablaze in Abuja on Wednesday by suspected members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).

For three days now, the IMN members, better known as Shi’ites, have been protesting the continued detention of Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, their leader.

The clashes have led to loss of lives and left many injured. There is currently tension in Abuja. Security was beefed up around the presidential villa in Abuja earlier in the day.

Witnesses told TheCable that trouble began on Wednesday when the protesters proceeded towards Amingo area in Wuse 2, amid heavy security presence.

The security personnel reportedly intercepted them, forcing the Shiites to pelt them with stones. The security operatives responded by firing several gunshots into the air in an attempt to disperse them.

The incident which lasted well over an hour caused chaos in the area, with passersby scampering for safety.

WHY THE PROTEST?

El-Zakzaky has been in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since December 2015, despite court orders for his release.

He was arrested at the time after his followers and some soldiers clashed in Zaria, Kaduna state.

Over 300 people were said to have been killed as a result of the clash.

Editor’s note: This picture was used for illustrative purposes

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