Gunmen free 144 inmates in Nigeria: gov’t

Xinhua
November 3,2014

LAGOS, Unknown gunmen on Sunday invaded a prison in the west African country’s central north state of Kogi, killing one prisoner and set free at least 144 inmates, the government said on Monday.

The prison came under attack of armed external forces between 9: 30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. local time on Sunday, Adams Omale, the state Controller of the Nigerian Prison Service told reporters.

He said the 145 inmates were in the Koton Karfe prison in Kogi as of the time of the attack, saying that 119 of the inmates were awaiting trial while 26 were convicts.

Omale said one of the inmates was shot dead during the confusion that followed the invasion.

The controller told reporters that 12 of the inmates were either re-arrested or returned on their own.

He said police and army personnel were quickly mobilized to counter the invaders, but the damage had been done before their arrival.

It is unclear if the attack was a perpetration of Boko Haram, a terror group which proves to be a major security threat in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country.

In February 2012, Boko Haram fighters stormed the same facility and threw grenades and shot heavily at the prison workers before freeing more than 200 inmates suspected to be members of the terror group.

Police said they have commenced an investigation on Sunday’s incident and assured the perpetrators will be brought to book.

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