Nigerian security forces have killed at least 20 members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) during protests calling for the release of senior cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, the movement’s leader, this week.

Iran Press/Africa: Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) have been marching in the capital Abuja calling for the release of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, who has been in detention since 2015 despite a court order to release him, Manila Bulletin reported.

The death toll may be as high as 25, one spokesman said. Nigerian police met the protests with gunfire and tear gas. A journalist and a senior police officer also died after Monday’s march.

Most of the people killed after security forces opened fire on the group on Monday, with four others having since died in police custody from their bullet wounds, the spokesmen said.

"More might die in police custody, because there are at least 15 people who are in the detention center with various degrees of bullet wounds, without medication," a protester said.

Police said on Friday they had bolstered security across the country in the face of the ongoing protests, which they say are violent and unruly.

Zakzaky has been held in detention since December 2015, when the army killed hundreds of his followers at his compound and a nearby mosque and burial ground in northern Kaduna state. 203/208

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