Police used tear gas to disperse a protest by members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) Shia Muslim group in the Maitama area of Abuja on Thursday, November 5. Witnesses reported on social media that several demonstrators had been injured in the incident after security forces used live fire to break up the demonstration. Although the claims of casualties have not been confirmed, rumors have been spreading on social media encouraging further protests over the incident.
Further protests and security operations are possible in the Maitama area in the near term, with an associated risk of associated localized disruptions.
Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) have held regular protests in Abuja and some other areas of the country since 2015 calling for the release of the group's leader Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife following their arrest in a controversial raid by security forces. A number of these protests have been aggressively dispersed by security forces with the use of tear gas and live fire.
Those in Abuja are advised to avoid the Maitama area in the near term due to the risk of further unrest, security operations, and residual disruptions. Travellers should avoid all demonstrations and political gatherings in Nigeria and heed any directives issued by local authorities.
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