Police officers detain Shi'a protesters who were taking part in a protest calling for the release of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), in Abuja. Picture: Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters

Abuja - Police fired teargas at a protesting Shi'a group in Nigeria's capital city Abuja, a Reuters witness saw on Thursday.

Hundreds gathered outside government buildings to demand the release of their leader two days after clashes with police left at least two dead and 40 protesters in police custody.

Protesters ran and threw stones as police fired tear gas to disperse the crowds.

The Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), a group that represents Nigeria's minority Shi'a Muslims, has said they will continue protesting until they secure the release of their leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky, who has been in detention since 2015.

Police officers detain Shi'a Muslims who were taking part in a protest calling for the release of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), in Abuja. Picture: Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters

On Tuesday, Nigeria's National Assembly went into lockdown after gunshots erupted during a violent confrontation between the sides. Each side blamed the other for the gunfire. 

Police fire teargas at a group of Shi'a Muslims in Abuja who were calling for the release of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN). Picture: Abraham Achirga/Reuters
Reuters