Bi­afra pro­test­ers ar­rested in Nige­ria

Business Day - - FRONT PAGE - Agency Staff La­gos

More than 30 pro-Bi­afra sup­port­ers were ar­rested af­ter protests in south­ern Nige­ria left one po­lice of­fi­cer dead, po­lice said on Thurs­day.

More than 30 pro-Bi­afra sup­port­ers were ar­rested af­ter protests in south­ern Nige­ria left one po­lice of­fi­cer dead, po­lice said on Thurs­day.

Rivers state po­lice spokesman Nnamdi Omoni said 32 sus­pects were in cus­tody af­ter two days of what he said were “vi­o­lent protests” in the state cap­i­tal, Port Har­court.

In the past few days, mem­bers of the In­dige­nous Peo­ple of Bi­afra (IPOB) group have in­ten­si­fied their calls for a sep­a­rate state for the dom­i­nant Igbo eth­nic group in south­east Nige­ria.

That has sparked clashes with the mil­i­tary and po­lice.

A uni­lat­eral dec­la­ra­tion of an in­de­pen­dent repub­lic of Bi­afra in 1967 led to a 30-month civil war that left more than 1-mil­lion dead, most of them Ig­bos.

Omoni said a po­lice sergeant at­tached to the riot squad was killed in Port Har­court on Wed­nes­day, when IPOB mem­bers seized his ri­fle.

On Tues­day, the group at­tacked the city’s po­lice train­ing school, he said.

Ten­sions are run­ning high be­tween IPOB sup­port­ers and the mil­i­tary, which be­gan op­er­a­tions this week against ris­ing crime across the south.

In Abia state, next to Rivers, a po­lice sta­tion in the com­mer­cial hub of Aba was burnt down on Thurs­day, said po­lice.

A three-day, dusk-to-dawn cur­few was im­posed in Abia on Tues­day to pre­vent clashes af­ter IPOB said troops killed five of its mem­bers.

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