Nigerian forces kill protesters during rally against police brutality

Moscow: Nigerian security forces have opened fire on protesters in the southwestern city of Lagos, killing several people and leaving many others wounded, the Premium Times newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing witnesses.

The military reportedly started the shooting on protesters on Tuesday night after the authorities in Lagos State, of which the city is capital, had imposed a 24-hour curfew in a bid to curb criminal activities under the umbrella of ongoing protests against police violence.

The exact death toll from the shooting is yet unknown, with different sources reporting from 7 to 9 fatalities and predicting the death toll could rise as many other protesters were injured in the shooting and subsequently hospitalized.

The authorities said an investigation into the incident has been opened, while the Nigerian armed forces have denied all accusations, branding media reports on last night events as “fake news“.

Meanwhile, the shooting of protesters has been condemned both within the country and abroad. In an appeal posted on Twitter, former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged the Nigerian government to “stop killing young #EndSARS protesters.”

The #EndSARS rallies across Nigeria ignited after numerous claims implicated the country’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) police unit in acts of killings, torture and blackmail. The department was disbanded by the authorities and replaced with the Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) squad. Nonetheless, the protests continued against other forms of police violence.