By Rafiu Ajakaye
More than 50 protesters were arrested in capital Abuja Wednesday during a demonstration organized by the Shia organization, Islamic Movement of Nigeria.
Police called the protest violent during which protesters allegedly targeted “innocent citizens and police operatives".
In a statement, police spokesman Anjuguri Manzah said: “The Federal Capital Territory Police Command has arrested some  members of the sect and recovered some bottles of improvised petrol-bomb, stones and catapult used by members of the sect to attack police operatives and damage police operational vehicles.”
Police had fired teargas and live bullets in the air to disperse the hundreds of protesters in the afternoon, local media reported, which led to multiple injuries.
Islamic Movement of Nigeria members began a fresh round of protest on Monday, seeking immediate release of their leader Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife who have been under detention since 2015.
The group claims at least two of their members were killed in a similar protest on Sunday in northwestern Kaduna state -- the group's headquarters. El-Zakzaky’s arrest followed a face-off between his followers and the army, resulting in the deaths of nearly 400 Shia members and demolition of their Husseiniyah’s headquarters.