United States government says it is concerned by the violence between protesting Shiites and Nigerian soldiers in and around Abuja.
Dozens of protesting Shiites were killed between Saturday and Tuesday by soldiers who accused the protesters of throwing stones and other objects at security forces.
In a statement posted on its website, U.S. embassy in Nigeria called for thorough investigation of the violence.
“United States Embassy is concerned by the deaths resulting from clashes between Nigerian security forces and members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria in areas surrounding Abuja.
“We urge Government of Nigeria authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of the events and to take appropriate action to hold accountable those responsible for violations of Nigerian law. We urge restraint on all sides.”
Following the violence, hundreds of Shiites were arrested by the police and 120 of them arraigned on Thursday in Abuja.
Amnesty International has condemned the clampdown on the Shiites, members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), who were demanding release of their leader, Mr Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
El-Zakzaky has been detained since 2015 after a military clampdown on his group left over 300 IMN members dead.