In the aftermath of the violent clashes between the Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria popularly known as Shiites in Abuja on Tuesday, October 29, the Police say they have arrested 400 members of the group in Abuja.
The Shiites had taken to some parts of the Federal Capital Territory to protest the refusal of the Buhari led government to release their leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky despite being granted bail numerous times by the court.
The protests that started peacefully had turned violent for the third time in less than one week, resulting in a clash between members of the Shiite group and security operatives leading to their arrest by personnel of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command of the Nigeria Police Force.
The arrests were confirmed by the FCT Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bala Ciroma, who addressed a press conference at the command’s headquarters regarding the incident.
According to Ciroma, several members of the group were arrested with about 31 bottles of petrol bomb made out of improvised explosive devices and other dangerous weapons.
He revealed further that the protesters had burnt a police rapid response squad patrol vehicle deployed in Adetokunbo Ademola crescent area to contain the violence.
The police commissioner said the suspects would be arraigned in court as soon as investigations were completed.
Tuesday’s clash had come on the heels of a similar clash between the Shiite group with security operatives on Saturday last week, and on Monday.
During Saturday’s encounter, the Shiites had clashed with personnel of the Nigerian Military deployed in Zuba, a satellite town on the outskirt of Abuja; the clash had resulted in three deaths.
Again, yesterday, members of the Shiite group clashed with soldiers deployed in the Nyanya axis, leading to casualties on both sides.
The Army authorities, in a statement, explained that the Shiites forced their way into the troops’ checkpoint at Kugbo/Karu bridge after overrunning the police.
They confirmed that at least three members of the group died and four soldiers injured while the troops were trying to repel them.