Nigeria protesters break curfew amid gunfire, chaos in Lagos - GulfToday

Nigeria protesters break curfew amid gunfire, chaos in Lagos


Nigerians based in South Africa protest outside their embassy in Pretoria on Wednesday. AFP

Nigerians protesting against police brutality stayed on the streets in Lagos on Wednesday, breaking the government curfew following a night of chaotic violence in which demonstrators were fired upon, sparking global outrage.

Shots were fired Wednesday as young demonstrators set up barricades by the Lekki toll plaza in Lagos, where protesters had been fired upon Tuesday night, causing numerous injuries although officials said no deaths.


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Gunfire could be heard across Lagos, Nigeria's largest city of 14 million, including on the highway to the airport, at a major bus station, outside the offices of a television station and at the Lekki tollgates. Smoke could be seen billowing from several points in central Lagos.

Nigerians based in South Africa protest outside their embassy in Pretoria in solidarity with Nigerian youth. AFP

Demonstrations and gunfire were also reported in several other Nigerian cities, including the capital city, Abuja.

The nationwide #EndSARS protests against police brutality have rocked Nigeria for more than two weeks. They started after a video circulated of a man being beaten, apparently by officers of the police Special Anti-Robbery Squad, known as SARS.

In response to the protests, the government announced it would disband the SARS unit, which Amnesty International says has been responsible for many cases of torture and killings.

Police ‘brutality’ in Nigeria

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on Wednesday for an end to what he called "brutality" by police in Nigeria, which has been rocked by two weeks of protests.

Only good on paper
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks at the meeting. File photo

"The Secretary-General urges the security forces to act at all times with maximum restraint while calling on protestors to demonstrate peacefully and to refrain from violence," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

Top EU envoy condemns killings

The European Union's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Wednesday condemned the killing of protesters demonstrating against police brutality in Nigeria, and called for justice.

"It is alarming to learn that several people have been killed and injured during the ongoing protests against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Nigeria," he said.

"It is crucial that those responsible of abuses be brought to justice and held accountable."


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