An ambulance and a fire engine were set on fire during clashes between the police and Shia protesters [Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters]

A journalist covering clashes between Nigerian security forces and supporters of a Shia group in Abuja has been confirmed dead amid reports the death toll from the confrontation has risen to at least eight people.

Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) rallied on Monday in the capital demanding the release of their leader Ibrahim el-Zakzaky – in detention since 2015 – following reports of worsening health conditions of both he and his wife, who is also being held.

A senior police officer deployed to coordinate security operations during the protest was shot dead, police said.

IMN said they had retrieved six bodies of their members

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