Top police officer killed as Shiites, police face-off
A senior police officer has been killed on Monday during the clash between the Nigerian Police Force and the Shiite group, IMN, in Abuja, a police source told The Guardian.
The slain officer, Umar Bele, was a Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations and a former Principal Staff Officer (PSO) to former Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris.
Police authorities are yet to officially react to the death of the officer.
This is the third time in five days that the Shiite group will clash with security operatives.
The protesters alleged that the Monday rally was peaceful while marching to the federal secretariat until they were shot at.
A member of the IMN, Yahaya Mohammed, said the Shiite members were only having a peaceful protest when military officers attacked them.
“Which clash? There was no clash between us and anybody. It was a peaceful protest. Until these security officers just came and started shooting and attacking us,” Mohammed said.
The protest turned violent as some persons were shot and a vehicle was set on fire on the road opposite the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Police officers summoned firefighters to the scene, as roads leading to the Villa, National Assembly and Police Force Headquarters were cordoned by the military and other security agencies.
“They used live bullets on our members and many have been killed,” Abdullahi Musa, a spokesman of the group said.
The protesters are calling for the release of their leader El-Zakzaki, who has been in detention since 2015.