Nigeria: Three killed during Abuja End SARS protest as military operation begins

At least three people were killed and several vehicles were set alight in the Apo district of Abuja on Tuesday, as another End SARS protest took a violent turn, with clashes between protesters and police forces sent to patrol the area. Armed police officers were seen patrolling a street lined by burnt out vehicles. «Today again they killed like up to three to four people,» one Abuja resident said. «So the situation is out of hand, we are pleading that the government should come to our aid.» The protest was part of a wider series of demonstrations, known as the 'End SARS' movement, which has been going on for close to two weeks both on the streets and online, with many well-known celebrities tweeting in solidarity with protesters on the ground. SARS, short for Special Anti-Robbery Squad, is a special task force within Nigeria's police structure that was founded in 1984, when the country was under military rule. Throughout the years, the task force has gained a high level of notoriety in Nigerian society and has been accused of abuse of power ranging from extortion to torture and murder. Recent protests against SARS kicked off after the publication of a video of a man allegedly being killed by one of its members. Since protests began, the Nigerian government has announced the dissolution of the police force, but protests have nevertheless continued and became more broadly critical of the government and in favour of reform.

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