Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 6:10 pm with new information about the death of the senior police officer.
The unending protest of the members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, the largest Shi’ite sect in the country, has claimed the life a top police officer with the Federal Capital Territory Police Command in Abuja.
PRNigeria gathered that deceased was deputy commissioner of police in charge of Operation, DCP Umar Usman.
DCP Umar was killed by the protesters while trying to prevent the hostile action of destruction of property at the axis of the federal secretariat and three arms zone.
Consequent of the violence, security was beefed up at the Force headquarters to prevent reprisal attacks over the arrest of scores of the protesters who are demanding the release of the spiritual sect leader, Sheik Ibraheem El Zakzaky.
Abuja: At Least 6 Killed As Nigerian Police Opens Fire On Shi’ite Protestors (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
A Channels Television reporter has been hit by a stray bullet as members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria clashed with officers of the Nigerian Police on Monday, July 22, 2019 in Abuja.
The protest by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, the largest Shi’ite sect in Nigeria, turned violent in Abuja including the environs of the Federal Secretariat.
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.
Bullets were fired at the protesters as they advanced towards the Eagle Square. The police chased the protesters all over the streets shooting sporadically.
— Al’Musty (@07musty) July 22, 2019
Policemen who cordoned off the road leading to the National Assembly and the three arms zone disrupted the protest march by the Shiites firing tear gas to disperse the crowd.
Several gunshots were also fired during the protest and there are reports that a number of protesters have been killed.
Properties of National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, were set ablaze by the protesters as they occupied the Central Area in the capital city.
The protesters are demanding for the release of their leader Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who has been incarcerated by the Muhammadu Buhari regime since 2015. There have been several court orders for the release of the Islamic cleric.
The situation sparked tension as workers fled while motorists abandoned their vehicles on the road.
The police have taken control of the area.
Corpses of Dead Protesters Evacuated By Police
Nigeria police officers evacuated corpses of protesters who were shot dead in Abuja on Monday.
A reporter for TheCable reports seeing six corpses that were evacuated around federal secretariat, Abuja. They were picked off the street and dumped into a Toyota Hilux van.
Police Urges Calm from Abuja Residents
Frank Mba, the police force spokesperson, later issued a statement, asking residents of Abuja to be calm.
“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.”