Pandemonium in Abuja as Police, El-Zakzaky's supporters clash

REUTERS  Afolabi Sotunde                       Policemen stand next to a water cannon truck in Abuja Nigeria

REUTERS Afolabi Sotunde Policemen stand next to a water cannon truck in Abuja Nigeria

The police had moved in to forcefully disperse the demonstrators, who are mostly of the Shiite Islamic sect, leading to a clash.

He stated that the protesters faced the police, hauling stones and sticks at them, and also smashing vehicles that were around.

Last week, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command banned protests and ralliesat the Unity Fountain in Abuja where the Shiites usually stage their protests.

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The group is now in a clash with personnel of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) police command, as they prevent the group from continuing a planned protest round the city.

"Although there were reports that stones were thrown by some protesters, there is no excuse for the use of live bullets, water cannon and tear gas". All of a sudden, they began to attack us.

Musa alleged that more than 90 members of the group were also arrested and were being detained by the police in Abuja, even as he vowed that they would be back on the streets today.

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MEMBERS of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shi'ites, on Monday, engaged both the soldiers and members of the Nigeria Police Force in Abuja to protest the immediate release of their leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who had been in detention for the past one year.

An American based lawyer, Mr Emmanuel Ogebe, has decried the continuous detention of the Shiite leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, describing it as a dent on Nigeria's human rights records.

It remains unclear what led to Monday's altercation, but tension has been brewing for months as the protesters march everyday in an unrelenting effort to secure the release of their leader. "Tomorrow, insha Allah, we are coming out to continue the protest", he said.

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When contacted, the Abuja police spokesperson, Manzah Anjuguri, said the police would soon release a statement on the incident.

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