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Police disperse Shi’ites protesters with gunshots, arrest 12 members, journalists

The police on Wednesday in Abuja dispersed a protest by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria with gunshots.

The incident sparked fear and confusion in the Wuse area of the city as residents scampered for safety.

A schoolgirl reportedly sustained gunshot injuries during the incident, while two journalists who were covering the protest were arrested.

They were subsequently released shortly after.

The Federal Capital Territory spokesperson, ASP Miriam Yusuf, who said 12 IMN members were arrested, denied that the schoolgirl was shot by the police during the incident.

She said, “We have 12 members of the proscribed IMN who participated in the illegal protest in our custody. Two journalists who were arrested were later released, but it is not true that a girl was shot.”

The police and Shi’ites regularly engaged in bloody clashes which had led to the death of a senior police officer, a youth corps member and several IMN members.

The sect members had been demanding the release of their leader, Sheikh El-Zakzaky and his wife who had been in custody since 2015.

The IMN spokesman, Ibrahim Musa did not respond to request for a reaction as calls to his phone rang out.

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