Abuja, Nigeria At least 600 prisoners escaped in a brazen jailbreak in the Nigerian capital, officials said Wednesday, and blamed the attack on. Authorities said about 300 inmates were re-arrested.
“Very determined” rebels attacked the Kogi medium security prison in Abuja on Tuesday night with “high-quality explosives”, killing a guard who was on duty, according to Shoaib Belgor, permanent secretary of Nigeria’s Ministry of Interior.
Explosions and gunfire were heard around 10pm in the Kogi area of Abuja when the attackers arrived and made their way to the prison through an explosive crater.
The radical Islamist rebels who attacked the prison launchedFor more than a decade. Prison officials said their attack on the detention center freed many of its inmates.
“We understand that they are from Boko Haram. They came specifically for their co-conspirators,” Belgor said. “Currently, we have recovered about 300 of the approximately 600 released from prison.”
Jihadist rebels in Nigeria have carried out several prison breaks in the northeast of the country in recent years, but this is the first in the capital.
Prisons are often in Africa’s most populous country. Up to 70% of prisoners are remanded in custody and can be held pending trial for years. thatIt was carried out in the southeastern state of Imo in April last year. It was not clear which group orchestrated this escape, but the area has long been a hotbed of Nigerian separatist groups, and tensions between the federal authorities and the indigenous Igbo population are often high.
An extremist insurgency in northern Nigeria, carried out by Boko Haram and a branch known as the Islamic State in Central Africa, has been blamed for the violence that has killed more than 35,000 people and displaced more than two million, according to the United Nations.
Instability, starvation and a prolonged lack of health services due to the insurgency indirectly caused the deaths of more than 300,000 additional people, according to the United Nations.
Extremist violence is the most serious security challenge in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country of 206 million, which is also battling violence in the northwest region by rebel patrons and a separatist movement in the south of the country.