Lots of of prisoners together with scores of detained terrorists have been on the run in Nigeria after suspected Boko Haram militants attacked a jail close to the capital, Abuja.
Gunmen armed with explosives blasted into Kuje medium-security jail, on the outskirts of Abuja at about 10pm on Tuesday, liberating 600 of the jail’s 994 inmates, authorities officers mentioned.
Greater than 300 escapees have been swiftly recaptured, however the remaining remained at massive and have been being pursued by safety forces, based on Nigeria’s defence minister, Bashir Magashi.
One jail guard was killed within the assault and three others injured.
“They got here in numbers, they gained entrance into the jail they usually launched a few of the inmates,” Magashi mentioned at a press briefing close to the jail on Wednesday morning. “We imagine they belong to a specific group, and almost definitely they’re Boko Haram as a result of we have now a sizeable variety of Boko Haram [fighters] that have been in detention and presently we can’t find any of them.
“About 64 of them have been within the jail … they’ve all escaped,” he mentioned earlier than including: “The state of affairs is beneath management.”
Witnesses dwelling close to the jail facility mentioned the assault lasted for greater than an hour with safety forces arriving on the scene lengthy after the inmates had escaped.
Iliya Makama, an area resident mentioned: “ At about 10pm we heard the sounds of gunshots persevering with for about 40 minutes. In between the capturing we began listening to loud explosions.
“After a bit over an hour, they began working previous my window. At first I used to be mendacity down on the ground with my spouse … All this whereas there have been no sirens or helicopter patrol from the police or troopers.”
Jail breaks have grown extra widespread in Nigeria, the place final yr greater than 1,800 prisoners escaped from Owerri Jail within the south-eastern Imo state, after closely armed males attacked with gunfire and explosives.
The assault in Kuje will cement fears over the rising capability of armed teams throughout the nation, launching daring assaults more and more near the capital, with little to no resistance from overwhelmed and under-equipped safety forces.
It got here hours after gunmen attacked an advance convoy of President Muhammadu Buhari’s safety personnel, in his house state of Katsina, north-west Nigeria, earlier than a scheduled go to by the president.
On Wednesday, Buhari’s spokesperson mentioned: “Attackers opened fireplace on the convoy from ambush positions however have been repelled by the army, police and DSS personnel accompanying the convoy.
“Two individuals within the convoy are receiving remedy for the minor accidents they suffered. All the opposite personnel, employees and autos made it safely to Daura.”
Unrest has elevated throughout Africa’s most populous nation, with safety forces battling on a number of fronts, from a 13-year jihadist insurgency within the north-east, to “bandit” terrorist and jihadist teams throughout the north-west, kidnapping for ransom and terrorising rural communities.
The motion of jihadist teams from the north-east to northern and central Nigeria, forming alliances with different armed teams, has induced rising alarm. In Niger State, native authorities officers have mentioned the teams have successfully taken over communities just a few hundred kilometres from Abuja, exploiting an absence of rural safety.