At least seven persons were reportedly feared dead Monday, and twenty one others sustained various degree of injuries, as members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, engaged security operatives in a bloody clash in Abuja.
The clash followed demands by the sect members for the release of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who has been in detention since December 2015 by the Federal Government.
The Commissioner of Police, Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Command had last Friday banned the group from further protests in the city, after a rally at the popular Unity Fountain, where they had a sit out.
It was gathered that members of the religious sect, in defiance of the Police order, Monday, insisted on staging their peaceful protest around the Fountain, and said the ban was a breach of their constitutional rights.
The large crowd of protesters included adult males and females, as well as underaged members who came from various parts of the country.
Business activities around the Unity Fountain and 3-Arms Zone were grounded in what started as a peaceful demonstration but later turned violent when security forces tried to stop their march on the streets.
An eye witness account stated that the IMN members were ready for a showdown with the security agents as they defied police teargas and hot water cannon in their march towards the Eagle Square.