- Associated Press - Friday, January 20, 2017

WARRI, Nigeria (AP) - Eleven people were killed when Nigerian security forces cracked down on a demonstration supporting the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, a separatist group said Friday, though police denied there were any deaths.

The demonstration was organized in southern Rivers state by the Indigenous People of Biafra, whose members want Trump to support the creation of an independent Biafran state for the Igbo people.

Ugochukwu Chinweuba, a member of the group, said police and soldiers used live rounds and that “scores” were wounded in addition to the dead.

Nnamdi Omoni, a spokesman for Rivers state police, said the claim was false and that police only used tear gas.

“To the best of my knowledge, there was no casualty as the police merely employed minimal action, which involved the use of tear gas to disperse protesters,” he said.

Neither of the competing accounts could be independently verified.

One million people died in the 1967-70 civil war over efforts to create a Biafran state.

In November, Amnesty International accused Nigeria’s military of killing 150 pro-Biafra protesters.

The London-based human rights organization said an analysis of 87 videos, 122 photographs and testimony from 146 witnesses showed “the military fired live ammunition with little or no warning” into crowds protesting in several cities between August 2015 and August 2016.

The army denied the allegations, saying soldiers used “maximum restraint.”

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