The police have announced the arrest of 400 members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) over the violent protest that rocked Abuja on Tuesday.
In worrying scenes, members of the group, also referred to as Shiites, had taken to some parts of the nation’s capital in protest against the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky.
The demonstration eventually resulted in a clash between the group and security operatives, leading to their arrest by personnel of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command of the Nigeria Police Force.
FCT Commissioner of Police, Mr Bala Ciroma, confirmed the arrest while addressing a news conference at the Command Headquarters in Abuja.
Ciroma explained that some members of the group were arrested for being in possession of about 31 bottles of petrol bomb made out of improvised explosive devices and other dangerous weapons.
The CP revealed that the protesters burnt a police rapid response squad patrol vehicle deployed in Adetokunbo Ademola crescent area.
He said the suspects would be arraigned in court as soon as investigations into the mayhem were completed.
Tuesday’s clash followed a face-off between the protesters and security operatives over the weekend at the Zuba junction in Abuja that resulted in the death of no fewer than three persons.
Speaking on the clash, the Army authorities explained that the Shiites forced their way into the troops’ checkpoint at Kugbo/Karu bridge after overrunning the police.