The BBC reports that a number of demonstrators against police brutality have been shot dead or wounded in Lagos, Nigeria.
Witnesses told local media that up to 12 people had been killed when soldiers opened fire. Meanwhile, Amnesty International said it has received credible reports of the deaths.
Armed soldiers were seen barricading the protest site moments before the shooting. Further, live streaming on social media shows protesters tending to the wounded. Witnesses say ambulances could not reach the site due to the police barricades. The Nigerian military has denied the reports, vowing to open an investigation. Authorities have only confirmed that some people were wounded in the incident.
The BBC reports that an indefinite 24-hour curfew imposed on Lagos and other regions had been defied by a small group of protestors who gathered at the Lekki toll plaza in Lagos where the shooting took place.
The weeks long protests have been taking place over the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars), which had recently been disbanded. Tuesday nights protest had reportedly been peaceful, when the army opened fire. An unnamed witness said, “It was pandemonium and they kept on shooting and shooting at us. It lasted for about an hour-and-a-half and the soldiers were actually taking up the dead bodies.”
According to the BBC, this is not the first time the Nigerian army has been accused of shooting unarmed protesters, and that the silence from the presidency is only aggravating the anger.
Lagos state Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has meanwhile claimed that the protests have been hijacked by criminals.
Umm Muhammed Umar