Soldiers open fire on Nigerian protesters in Lagos, witnesses say


Soldiers opened fire on Nigerian protesters in the Lekki district of commercial capital Lagos on Tuesday, shooting at least two people, three witnesses told Reuters.Protesters have been demonstrating for more than a week over allegations of police brutality in Nigeria.

“They started firing ammunition towards the crowd. They were shooting at the crowd, ”said Alfred Ononugbo, 55, a security guard. “I saw the bullet hit a couple of people,” he said.

The Lagos state government has said it will open an investigation into the shooting, which witnesses said took place around 7 p.m. local time.

“There have been reports of shooting at the Lekki toll plaza,” Gboyega Akosile, a spokesperson for the governor, said on Twitter. “The state government has ordered an investigation into the incident,” he said in another tweet.

A Nigerian military spokesperson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Photographer Inyene Akpan, 26, said more than 20 soldiers arrived at the Lekki tollbooth and opened fire. He said he saw two people being shot.

Protesters gather outside the Lagos State Secretariat during Tuesday’s protest. (Benson Ibeabuchi / AFP via Getty Images)

Akinbosola Ogunsanya, a third witness, said he saw around ten people being shot. He also said he saw soldiers removing bodies.

A Reuters witness heard sirens and gunshots.

Authorities on Tuesday imposed a 24-hour curfew on Lagos, home to Africa’s largest city, in response to protests, which the state governor said turned violent.

The national police chief also ordered the immediate deployment of riot forces across the country following the increase in attacks on police facilities, a police spokesperson said.

Amnesty calls reports “credible”

Amnesty International said on Tuesday evening that there was “credible but disturbing evidence” that security forces had killed protesters in Lagos.

Lagos State Information Commissioner Gbenga Omotoso said in a statement only Tuesday evening that “there were reports of gunfire at Lekki Toll Plaza after the 24 hour curfew. hours imposed in Lagos ”.

“The state government has ordered an investigation into the incident,” he said.

Video broadcast on Nigerian TV stations appears to capture audio of live bullets fired at the scene.


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