Gunmen attack
Representative image.

Gunmen attack, A group of gunmen raided a jail in southcentral Nigeria and freed 240 inmates after blowing up the perimeter fence of the prison.

Gunmen attack , The attackers started a gun battle with the guards of the jail late on Sunday at the medium-security prison at Kabba in Kogi state, southwest of the federal capital Abuja, a media report quoted Francis Enobore, a spokesman for the Correctional Service, as saying.

“The medium-security custodial centre in Kabba, Kogi state, has been attacked by yet to be identified gunmen and 240 inmates forcefully released,” Francis Enobore further said.

The officials claimed the heavily armed men destroyed three sides of the prison’s perimeter fence with explosives and then overpowered a team of 35 security officers of the jail.

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Two correctional officers were killed during the attack and only 54 of the inmates could not escape, said Francis Enobore.

The interior ministry informed that two other guards of the jail are also missing.

It has been reported that Nigeria’s controller general of corrections Haliru Nababa has taken charge of an investigation into the attack and ordered to recapture all the inmates who escaped.

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“He appealed to the general public to provide useful intelligence that will assist in recapturing the escapees to security operatives,” Enobore said.

At the time of the jail outbreak incident, there were a total of 294 inmates in custody including 224 pre-trial detainees and 70 convicted, the prison service said.

The jail was set up in 2008 and had a capacity of 200 inmates.

In Nigeria, suspects can spend in pre-trial detention for several years.

Human rights groups allege that the prisons in the country remain overcrowded and the legal procedures are not sufficient.

In Nigeria, jail outbreaks incidents are not uncommon.

In such an attack on April 5, gunmen raided Owerri police headquarters and freed more than 1,800 inmates, says an aljazeera.com report.

In February 2012, dozens of gunmen bombed their way into a prison in Kogi state’s Koton Karfe and freed a total of 119 inmates and killed a warden.

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