Nigerian Police Open Fire At Protesters In Lagos

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Nigerian Police Open Fire At Protesters In Lagos

Violence has erupted at an anti-police brutality demonstration in the Nigerian city of Lagos that has resulted in several people being shot by security forces. The demonstrations are part of an ongoing campaign that started in opposition to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a paramilitary police group that has been accused of a wide variety of crimes including, murder, assault, robbery and extortion.

The SARS police division was disbanded on October the 11th due to the protests but demonstrators are now seeking further police reforms. These protests took on a new intensity when it was revealed that on Monday, a 17-year-old boy had died in police custody apparently after being severely beaten. The protesters have been widely dubbed the #EndSARS movement.

The entire city of Lagos, home to some 20 million people, has now been placed under a curfew in order to bring peace to the streets. A witness described how Nigerian police began firing at demonstrators, they said:

"Members of the Nigerian army pulled up on us and they started firing. They were shooting, they were firing straight, directly at us, and a lot of people got hit. I just survived, barely."

It is as of yet unclear how many people were shot and to what degree they are injured, though some have said that many bodies were seen lying lifeless on the ground.

Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who imposed the curfew released a statement saying:

"Dear Lagosians, I have watched with shock how what began as a peaceful #EndSARS protest has degenerated into a monster that is threatening the well-being of our society."

While the vast majority of the protesters had been acting in a peaceful manner small groups were seen throwing projectiles at the police and starting a number of small fires.

Human Rights group Amnesty International has voiced its concerns surrounding the protests and around the brutal actions of elements of the Nigerian police. The organisation said in a tweet:

"While we continue to investigate the killings, Amnesty International wishes to remind the authorities that under international law, security forces may only resort to the use of lethal force when strictly unavoidable to protect against imminent threat of death or serious injury."

It is thought that despite the curfew, large scale demonstrations are expected to continue. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with 206 million people and is regarded as an emerging economy that could play a significant role on the global stage. The country does however suffer severe issues relating to poverty, corruption and internal antagonisms between religious and ethnic groups.

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Thinking Humanity: Nigerian Police Open Fire At Protesters In Lagos
Nigerian Police Open Fire At Protesters In Lagos
Violence has erupted at an anti-police brutality demonstration in the Nigerian city of Lagos that has resulted in several people being shot by securit
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