Nigeria: Shiites National Assembly Protest - 40 IMN Members Arrested, Two Officers Shot - Police

(file photo).

The police on Tuesday said two of its officers were shot by suspected members of the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the protest by the Shiites at the National Assembly turned violent. Witnesses had said at least two of the police officers guarding the assembly complex were shot.

The Shiites demand the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who has been detained by the government since December 2015. Over 340 Shiites were killed by the army in December 2015 after the army accused the Islamic sect of blocking a road.

On Tuesday, Anjuguri Manzah, the Abuja police spokesperson, said 40 Shiite protesters were arrested.

"The FCT Police Command has foiled a violent move by members of the El-Zakzakky Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) to forcefully invade the National Assembly on Tuesday, 10th July 2019," the spokesperson said.

Read Mr Manzah's full statement below.

Police Nab Shiite Members over Attempted Invasion of National Assembly

The FCT Police Command has foiled a violent move by members of the El-Zakzakky Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) to forcefully invade the National Assembly on Tuesday, 10th July, 2019.

The group which started its activity, camouflaged in a peaceful procession became violent and were trying to force their way into the National Assembly. Police operatives on the ground, however, acted proactively, professionally and used minimum force to disperse the unruly protesters.

Members of the sect during the violent protest shot two (2) police personnel on the leg, while clubs and stones were used to inflict injuries on six other policemen. The injured policemen have been taken to the hospital for prompt medical attention.

Meanwhile, forty (40) members of the sect have been arrested in connection with the violent protest. Investigation is in progress.

In view of the foregoing, the Command wishes to state unequivocally that while it recognizes and respects the right of citizens to peaceful procession, an attempt by any individual or group of persons to cause the breakdown of law and order will not be tolerated. Those arrested in the process will be dealt with in accordance with the appropriate law of the land.

Members of the public are enjoined to go on with their lawful activities as normalcy has been restored, and adequate security measures have been emplaced by the Command to forestall any security breach.

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