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Nigeria parliament on lockdown as police, protesters clash

Nigeria

<p>Nigeria’s National Assembly was on lockdown on Tuesday after shots were fired outside during clashes between police and a group of Shi’ite Muslim protesters.</p> <p>Both sides blamed the other for the shooting. In a statement, police said two officers were shot and wounded in the legs, and six other officers were injured by individuals using clubs and stones.</p> <p>But Abdullahi Muhammad Musa, a protester and member of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (<span class="caps">IMN</span>), told Reuters that police fired the shots, killing two protesters, after they peacefully tried to enter the assembly building.</p> <p><span class="caps">IMN</span>, a group that represents Nigeria’s minority Shi’ite Muslims, has protested regularly outside the National Assembly, calling for the release of their leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky, who has been in detention since 2015.</p> <p>Nigerian security forces have killed some 400 members of the group in response to largely peaceful protests since 2015, according to human rights groups.</p> <p>Police said they had arrested 40 protesters during Tuesday’s incident. The assembly remained on lockdown as of late afternoon. In a statement, the police force said they had “used minimum force to disperse the unruly protesters.”</p> <p>Witnesses said police used tear gas against the protesters, and smoke could be seen coming from the area.</p> <p><strong><em><span class="caps">REUTERS</span></em></strong></p>
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