Nigeria troops try to disperse protesters

2012-01-16 13:02

Lagos - Nigerian soldiers sought to disperse hundreds of protesters in the main city of Lagos on Monday by driving armoured vehicles toward them as a general strike over fuel prices entered its second week, an AFP correspondent said.

About 1 000 protesters had gathered on a road near the main Lagos protest site, which armed soldiers seized early on Monday. None of the protesters appeared to have been wounded.

About 10 000 protesters had been gathering daily at the main site last week.

Troops began by driving trucks toward the protesters, but later used armoured vehicles, the AFP correspondent reported. About 200 demonstrators were seeking to regroup nearby, but soldiers were moving in their direction.

Soldiers also on Monday seized the main protest site in the capital Abuja where hundreds of people had been gathering daily, an AFP journalist reported.

President Goodluck Jonathan announced on Monday that petrol prices would be cut by about a third cut in a bid to end the strike triggered after the government removed fuel subsidies.

Unions vowed to press ahead with the strike but called off street protests in response to security concerns voiced by Jonathan, but demonstrations have been organised by a range of civil society and political groups.

A number of groups vowed to continue protests.