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Tension has heightened in Enugu State following the alleged killing of three residents as protests hit the Coal City metropolis.

Daily Gazette had reported that traders took to the streets Wednesday morning protesting the sealing of their shops by the State government for not opening for business on Monday.

However, the protest is said to have turned violent, with at least three persons reportedly shot dead.

Video clips show lifeless bodies of two young men and that of a lady.

Security forces were said to have been deployed to disperse the protesters. It is, however, unclear who fired the shots.

The Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Enugu State Command, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, in a statement made available to journalists, said normalcy has been restored.

The police spokesman said the peaceful protest by the traders was hijacked.

Ndukwe said: “Normalcy has been restored at Ogbete Market Enugu and its surroundings, following the report of protest by some traders over the sealing of their shops by the State Government and their attempt to force others, whose shops were not sealed, to close theirs and the entire market closed.

“The initially peaceful protest was hijacked and made to become violent.

“Traders in the market and citizens alike have been pleaded with to remain law-abiding, peaceful and cooperative, while using approved channels to express their grievances.

“Full-scale investigation has been initiated on the orders of the Commissioner of Police, while further development, especially as it concerns reports of casualties being circulated, will be communicated as soon as possible, please.”

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