Nigerian officials tear-gas protesting Shiites demanding El-Zakzaky’s release

Scores of protesting Shiite members were dispersed by security operatives at the National Secretariat, Abuja, on Wednesday.

The protesters, members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, gathered at the federal secretariat, Abuja, to demand the release of their spiritual leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who was arrested by the Nigerian government last year.

The Shiite leader has been in detention without trial since over 300 of his followers were killed by soldiers, in December, who accused them of plotting to kill the army chief. The Shiites deny the charge.

On Wednesday, the protesters were heard chanting “free our leader free El-Zakzaky.”

However, not long after the protesters gathered at the secretariat, security operatives fired tear gas to disperse them.

Muttaqa Kumasi, a member of the group, said they were at the secretariat to demand Mr. El-Zakzaky’s release.

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