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Eyewitnesses say Nigerian forces shot at protesters in Lagos

October 20, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Demonstrators barricade the road to protest against abuses by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) at the Lekki toll Plaza in Lagos, on October 12, 2020. - Nigerians protested to pressure the government to follow through on disbanding a feared police unit after authorities made the rare concession in the face of widespread anger over abuses. Around 2,000 people blocked one of the main highways in the country's biggest city Lagos, demanding officials make good on an announcement on October 11, 2020, that the federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was being scrapped. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP) (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images)

Clashes between protesters and law enforcement agents in Lagos turned bloody on Tuesday, despite a state-wide curfew, with eyewitnesses telling CNN that multiple demonstrators have been shot by soldiers.

Lagos (CNN)Clashes between protesters and law enforcement agents in Lagos turned bloody on Tuesday, despite a state-wide curfew, with eyewitnesses telling CNN that multiple demonstrators have been shot by soldiers.

Demonstrators have taken part in daily protests across the country for nearly two weeks over widespread claims of kidnapping, harassment, and extortion by a police unit know as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Thursday saw the state governor impose a 24-hour curfew and deploy anti-riot police to the city.

One witness at the protests, Akinbosola Ogunsanya, said the shooting began after the lights were turned off at the Nigerian city's Lekki tollgate.

According to a tweet by Akosile, Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has also "advised security agents not to arrest anyone on account of the curfew. "

"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," Sanwo-Olu tweeted as he announced the 4 pm (local time) curfew.

Protesters are demanding further protections against the police, including independent oversight and psychological evaluation of officers.

Amnesty International said on its Twitter account Tuesday that it has received "credible but disturbing evidence" of "excessive use of force occasioning deaths of protesters. "

Videos on social media show dozens of cars belonging to protestors burning and Amnesty International said three people died.

The Nigeria Police Force said in a tweet that protestors carted away arms and ammunition from the armory before freeing suspects in custody and setting the facilities alight.

Edo state governor Godwin Obaseki imposed a curfew on Monday, tweeting about "disturbing incidents of vandalism and attacks on private individuals and institutions by hoodlums in the guise of #EndSARS protesters. "

According to a tweet from the Nigerian Police Force on Tuesday evening, the Inspector-General of Nigeria's Police has ordered the immediate nationwide deployment of anti-riot police officers "to protect lives and property of all Nigerians and secure critical national infrastructure across the country. "

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