- Associated Press - Friday, July 1, 2016

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) - Nigeria’s Shiite movement and journalists say more than a million Shiites have marched to demand freedom for their detained leader and Israeli-occupied parts of Palestine.

Spokesman Ibrahim Musa of the Shiite Islamic Movement said millions marched Friday on International Quds Day in a dozen northern cities and towns. Independent journalists reported more than a million people participated in the ancient Islamic city of Zaria that is the organization’s headquarters.

Human rights groups say Nigeria’s army killed hundreds of Shiites in raids in December. Shiite leader Ibraheem al-Zakzakhy was hit by seven bullets and has been detained ever since.

The army says the raids came after Shiites tried to assassinate Nigeria’s army chief - a charge the movement denies.

Musa’s statement demanded Zakzakhy’s unconditional release and the “the complete and unconditional withdrawal from all Israeli-occupied territories.”

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