Nigerian police and Shia clash

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Police in Nigeria have clashed with members of the minority Shia Muslim sect on the outskirts of the main northern city, Kano.

A journalist who is travelling with the Shia group told us that many of the followers were shot by the police, and they fear that many were killed.

An eyewitness told me that he saw a police van carrying at least four victims of the attack. He is not sure if they are alive.

Police confirmed the clashes, but said they could not give details at this stage.

The operation was continuing, they added.

The main road into Kano from the south and the capital, Abuja, is now blocked as a result of the clash.

Black-shirted followers of a hardline Shiite Muslim sect carry a banner depicting Ibrahim Zakzaky, a Nigerian Shiite radical who wants to set up an Islamic Republic, as thousands of Nigerian Muslims protest 10 February, 2005 in the northern city of Kano after weekly prayers on Friday to condemn cartoon drawings of the Prophet Mohammed published in European newspapers
Prominent Nigerians Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky has been in military custody since last year

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