At least 40 members of Shia have been arrested in the Nigerian capital Abuja after they attempted to force their way into the parliament building during a protest seeking release of their detained leader Ibrahim el-Zakzaky.
Police spokesman Anjuguri Manzah said in a statement Tuesday evening that the Shia members fired gunshots at two policemen at the parliament as they tried to force their way into the building.
"Members of the sect during the violent protest shot two (2) police personnel in the leg, while clubs and stones were used to inflict injuries on six other policemen. The injured policemen have been taken to the hospital for prompt medical attention," according to the statement.
"Meanwhile, forty (40) members of the sect have been arrested in connection with the violent protest. Investigation is in progress."
Police said they won't allow anyone to hide under the right to peaceful procession to cause breakdown of law and order.
"Those arrested in the process will be dealt with in accordance with the appropriate law of the land," it added.
El-Zakzaky has been in detention since 2015 when his followers had a brawl with the Nigerian army, leading to a crackdown that claimed over 350 Shia members in northwest Zaria town./aa