A number of people taking part in a protest against police brutality have reportedly been shot dead or wounded in Nigeria’s biggest city, Lagos.
Witnesses said up to 12 people were killed and others wounded when soldiers opened fire. Amnesty International said it had “credible reports” of deaths.
The state governor, however, said there had been no fatalities, although about 25 people had been wounded.
An indefinite 24-hour curfew has been imposed on Lagos and other regions.
On Wednesday, police in different districts of Lagos fired shots in the air to disperse protesters defying the curfew, the BBC’s Nduka Orjinmo reports from the capital, Abuja.
Protesters who briefly gathered again at the Lekki toll gate – where Tuesday’s shootings took place – were forced out by police, he adds.
Amid the rising tensions, President Muhammadu Buhari appealed for “understanding and calm”.
Protests over a now-disbanded police unit, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars), have been taking place for two weeks. The protesters are using the social media hashtag #EndSars to rally crowds.
Reacting to Tuesday’s shootings in the wealthy Lekki suburb, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on President Buhari and the army ”to stop killing young #EndSARS protesters”.
Former US Vice-President Joe Biden – who is standing against President Donald Trump in next month’s election – also urged authorities to cease the “violent crackdown on protesters”.
“The US must stand with Nigerians who are peacefully demonstrating for police reform and seeking an end to corruption in their democracy,” he said in a statement.
Nigerian footballer Odion Jude Ighalo, who plays for Manchester United, accused the Nigerian government of killing its own citizens.”I’m ashamed of this government,” he saifd in a video posted on Twitter.