Police kill 4 in Kaduna over violation of coronavirus-enforced lockdown

The police officers had been invited to a market in Kaduna after a confrontation between residents and task force officers.

The police officers also injured 10 other people (image used for illustrative purpose) [AFP]

To combat the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state, the Kaduna State government had ordered a shutdown of social and economic activities last month.

According to a report by Daily Trust, the Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) enforcing the order had a confrontation with some youths in Tirkania on Monday, April 6, 2020, over the activity of a market in the area.

Eyewitnesses said things got out of hand when the task force invited police officers as reinforcement.

The police officers from Kakuri division are reported to have shot teargas canisters to disperse the crowd and, after they were pelted with stones in retaliation, later used live bullets .

"Yes, four were killed and we buried them today (Tuesday) while 10 others sustained gun shots injuries out of which seven are in critical condition as we speak.

"I called in the army and other community leaders and tried our best to calm the angry youths who vowed to take revenge against the police," a community leader, Nuhu Mohammed Marafan Nasarawa, told Daily Trust.

One of of the victims, a 30-year-old Musa Aliyu, is reported to have been killed in front of his compound while trying to figure out what the commotion was about.

"Musa rushed out of the bathroom when he saw youth jumping into our compound.

"So, he went straight to the gate to see who was chasing them that was how police shot him on the left hand and the bullet penetrated into his chest," his father, Ali Balteh, told Daily Trust.

The Kaduna State Police Command is expected to release an official statement regarding the incident later on Tuesday.

Kaduna has recorded a total of five coronavirus cases, as of April 6. Of Nigeria's total of 238 cases, 35 have recovered, and five have died.

Joseph Pessu, a 28-year-old, was similarly killed by a soldier last week for violating the lockdown order in Delta State.

Many Nigerians have expressed fears about the high-handedness of officers in enforcing the lockdown orders which have been announced in many states across the country.

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