Police officers have opened fire on protesting members of Islamic Movement in Nigeria, popularly known as Shiites, in Abuja and injured some of them in the process.

The group had on Monday staged a protest to demand the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat, from a Kaduna Correctional Centre after they had been tested and found positive for COVID-19.

One of the Shiite protesters shot in the hand

The peaceful protest, which was held at the Federal Secretariat hub of the civil service, was disrupted when the police swooped on them and fired live bullets and teargas canisters at the crowd.

One of the protesters was shot in the hand while some others sustained varying degrees of injury.

The serene atmosphere in the area became charged, leading to commotion as members of the group and passersby scampered for safety.

The incident also disrupted traffic in the area as motorists were forced to take alternative routes to avoid being caught up in the melee.

The group had on Sunday in a statement asked the Nigerian government to release the cleric and his wife from prison to enable them to have medical treatment since they had tested positive for COVID-19.

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