Clashes between the Nigerian Shiite sect, Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and the security forces yesterday took a dangerous dimension, claiming the lives of a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) and eleven others according to many reports.
The police spokesman, Mr Frank Mba identified the DCP, who was in charge of Operations, FCT Command as Usman Umar.
Two other senior officers were also injured, he added.
Precious Owolabi, a Youth Corps member serving with Channels TV, who was struck by a stray bullet while covering the bloody protest in Abuja was also confirmed dead, throwing Nigerian media practitioners into mourning.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how a protest by the Shiites turned violent on Monday after police officers fired teargas at the protesters.
The Shiites, member of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), are demanding the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife Zeenah, who has been detained since December 2015.
A Shiite spokesperson said on Monday that 11 Shiites were killed by the police during the Monday protest.
“The heavily armed protesters defying all sense of decency violently attacked innocent citizens and police personnel on duty,” Mr Mba said in the police statement.
The heavily armed protesters defying all sense of decency violently attacked innocent citizens and Police personnel on duty.
In the process, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, FCT Command, DCP Usman A.K Umar, was shot and fatally injured by the protesters.
The officer who was immediately rushed to the hospital died moments later while receiving treatment.
The violent protesters also razed down a National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Response Post close to the Federal Secretariat, Abuja and two (2) vehicles.
Meanwhile, the Police have arrested fifty-four (54) suspects in connection with the incidents. The suspects are undergoing interrogation and will be arraigned in court as soon as possible.
The IGP, while commiserating with the family of the late DCP, condemns the incident and warns that Enough-is-Enough as the Force and the nation at large will not continue to suffer losses on account of reckless and lawless persons and groups in the society.
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