Nigeria Parliament lockdown


Nigeria’s National Assembly was on lockdown after shots were fired outside during clashes between police and Shi’ite Muslim protesters.

Both sides blamed the other for the shooting. In a statement, police said two officers were shot and wounded and six other officers were injured by clubs and stones.

Abdullahi Muhammad Musa, a protester and member of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), told Reuters police fired shots, killing two protesters, after they peacefully tried to enter the assembly building.

IMN, a group representing Nigeria’s minority Shi’ite Muslims, protests regularly outside the National Assembly, calling for the release of their leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky, in detention since 2015.

Nigerian security forces killed about 400 group members in response to largely peaceful protests since 2015, according to human rights groups.

Police arrested 40 protesters during Tuesday’s incident. The assembly remained on lockdown as of late afternoon. In a statement, police said they “used minimum force to disperse unruly protesters.”

Witnesses said police used teargas and smoke was seen in the area.