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Nigeria's National Assembly on lockdown after shots fired

Afolabi Sotunde, Reuters | Members of security forces secure the area outside the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria July 9, 2019.

Nigeria's National Assembly was on lockdown on Tuesday afternoon after shots were fired outside during clashes between police and a group of Shi'ite Muslim protesters, Reuters witnesses said.

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It was not immediately clear who had fired the shots or whether anyone had been injured, the witnesses said. Police used tear gas against the protesters, and smoke could be seen coming from the area, they said.

Security would not let anyone into the parliament building. A spokesman for the Nigerian police force did not immediately respond to messages or phone calls.

State news channel NTA said protesters with the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), a group that represents Nigeria's minority Shi'ite Muslims, had tried to enter the complex, sparking the confrontation with police.

Members of the IMN group have protested regularly outside the National Assembly, calling for the release of their leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky, who has been in detention since 2015.

(REUTERS)

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