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Nigeria puts curfew in Lagos against anti-police protests

As violent incidents have grown from Nigeria's widespread protests against police brutality, a 24-hour curfew has been imposed in Lagos, the country's largest city.

The announcement of the curfew in Lagos, a sprawling city of some 14 million, came Tuesday after a police station was burned down in the city and two people were shot dead by police.

Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said the curfew will cover the entire city and surrounding area.

People hold banners as they demonstrate on the street to protest against police brutality, in Lagos, Nigeria, Tuesday Oct. 20, 2020. After 13 days of protests against police brutality, authorities have imposed a 24-hour curfew in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city as moves are made to stop growing violence. (AP PhotoSunday Alamba)

“Lives and limbs have been lost as criminals and miscreants are now hiding under the umbrella of these protests to unleash mayhem on our state,” the governor said.

The protests began two weeks ago after a video circulated showing a man being beaten, apparently by police officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, known as SARS.

Young protesters marched in cities across Nigeria, under the banner #EndSARS. In response, the government announced it would ban the anti-robbery squad, which for several years human rights groups have blamed for widespread abuses, including torture and killings.

People hold banners as they demonstrate on the street to protest against police brutality, in Lagos, Nigeria, Tuesday Oct. 20, 2020. After 13 days of protests against police brutality, authorities have imposed a 24-hour curfew in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city as moves are made to stop growing violence. (AP PhotoSunday Alamba)

The demonstrators have not been satisfied with the disbandment of the SARS unit and are demanding an end to abuses and respect for human rights in all parts of the police force. The protests have stopped traffic in Lagos, the capital Abuja and many other large cities in Nigeria, a country of 196 million people.

Lagos is the main center of the protests which have blocked access to the airport, the country's largest, and protesters barricaded the roads leading to the country’s main ports.

The curfew in Lagos is the second within 24 hours to be imposed in Nigeria. Authorities imposed a curfew in Benin City on Monday after a group of young men broke into two prisons freeing scores of inmates.

People hold banners as they demonstrate on the street to protest against police brutality, in Lagos, Nigeria, Tuesday Oct. 20, 2020. After 13 days of protests against police brutality, authorities have imposed a 24-hour curfew in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city as moves are made to stop growing violence. (AP PhotoSunday Alamba)

Protests continue Tuesday in many cities including Abuja the capital where troops have been deployed.

People hold banners as they demonstrate on the street to protest against police brutality, in Lagos, Nigeria, Tuesday Oct. 20, 2020. After 13 days of protests against police brutality, authorities have imposed a 24-hour curfew in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city as moves are made to stop growing violence. (AP PhotoSunday Alamba)

People hold banners as they demonstrate on the street to protest against police brutality, in Lagos, Nigeria, Tuesday Oct. 20, 2020. After 13 days of protests against police brutality, authorities have imposed a 24-hour curfew in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city as moves are made to stop growing violence. (AP PhotoSunday Alamba)

People hold banners as they demonstrate on the street to protest against police brutality, in Lagos, Nigeria, Tuesday Oct. 20, 2020. After 13 days of protests against police brutality, authorities have imposed a 24-hour curfew in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city as moves are made to stop growing violence. (AP PhotoSunday Alamba)

People hold banners as they demonstrate on the street to protest against police brutality, in Lagos, Nigeria, Tuesday Oct. 20, 2020. After 13 days of protests against police brutality, authorities have imposed a 24-hour curfew in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city as moves are made to stop growing violence. (AP PhotoSunday Alamba)

People hold banners as they demonstrate on the street to protest against police brutality, in Lagos, Nigeria, Tuesday Oct. 20, 2020. After 13 days of protests against police brutality, authorities have imposed a 24-hour curfew in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city as moves are made to stop growing violence. (AP PhotoSunday Alamba)