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One dead in Nigerian fuel subsidy protests

ILORIN, Nigeria, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Widespread protests in Nigeria over the government's end to gasoline subsidies left one man dead in the city of Ilorin, witnesses said.

The subsidies ended Sunday.

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Allegedly, protests that turned violent near the Government House Area in Ilorin were met with shooting that killed one demonstrator Tuesday. Police, however, said the man was killed by angry protesters, The Guardian of Nigeria reported Wednesday.

In a separate report, the Nigerian Tribune said about 300 protesters blocked Warri-Port-Harcourt highway and that resulted in an hourlong "gun battle," with the Nigerian military's Joint Task Force.

The task force, however, denied the battle had taken place.

In some areas, "hoodlums have taken over [gas] stations and are threatening to maim our officials on duty," said Department of Petroleum Resources controller Olugbenga Koku.

On the political scene, the Nigeria Labor Congress said it planned to sue the federal government over the cessation of the gasoline subsidy that has sent prices skyrocketing at gas stations.

The labor organization denied it had previously agreed to the new policy and said it would hold the government responsible for its response against the protests.

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