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1 killed, Many Injured In Sokoto Protest Against Arrest Of Killers Of Deborah Samuel, College Student Lynched, Burned Over Alleged Blasphemy

At least one person was killed and many others injured Saturday as violence erupted over protests in Sokoto demanding release of suspects arrested in connection with the lynching and burning of Deborah Samuel, a female student of Shehu Shagari College of Education Sokoto over alleged blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad.

Some youths took to the major streets of Sokoto  metropolis Saturday morning demanding the release of the two suspects arrested by the Police in connection with the killing of the sophomore. And in the process, they unleashed killing and injuries on the population.

Deborah was lynched and later burned by fellow students on Thursday over the alleged blasphemy.

The protest, which was initially peaceful, started at the Zabirah Mall roundabout around 9am, and the protesters who were few in number at the time were armed with placards with different inscriptions.

Some of the placards read “Release our Muslim Brothers”, “Muslims Are not Terrorists”, among others.

However, as the protest lingered, the number of protesters swelled with some of them riding on their motorcycles, chanting “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is great).

Our reporter learnt that information about the planned protest circulated on social media platforms on Friday night.

From the roundabout the protesters headed to the palace of the Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar but were blocked by a team of joint security operatives who used tear gas canisters to disperse them.

Our reporter, who went to the area, saw the road leading to the palace littered with broken bottles and stones, just as bonfires were set in different places along major metropolitan roads by the protesters.

But well-armed security operatives were drafted at strategic places to maintain peace and order and they were led by the Commissioner of Police in the State, Kamal Okunlola.

One of the protesters told Daily Trust on Sunday that many people sustained gunshot injuries around the Sultan’s palace with many shops looted at the popular Emir Yahya Road. Some vehicles were also destroyed by the mob.

Teams of policemen were also seen guarding religious places and other important places in the metropolis with shops around Ahmadu Bello Way and other parts of the state closed down.

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