Police have clashed with hundreds of Shiites in the central area of Abuja, teargassing the demonstrators as they made attempt to enter the National Assembly.

Members of the Shia group, Islamic Movement in Nigeria, have been campaigning the release of their leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, detained since 2015.

The group’s members arrived the National Assembly main gate at about noon Monday, and attempted to forcefully enter the compound, but were resisted by security.

A police reinforcement, supported by the Civil Defence, later fired tear gas at the protesters and chased fleeing demonstrators into the neighbouring federal secretariat as they struggled for air.

The chase, headed towards the national mosque, created pandemonium as people scampered for safety.

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