16 March 2013

Nigeria: Gunmen Attack Prison in Borno, Free Inmates - kill Cop, Prison Warder in Yobe

Maiduguri/Damaturu — Gunmen on Thursday evening attacked a prison in Gwoza town, about 135 kilometres south of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital and set all the inmates free, locals told Weekly Trust yesterday.

Witnesses also said the gunmen who stormed the prison in commando style also set ablaze buildings within the prison.

Residents told our correspondent on phone that the gunmen stormed the prison close to the Emir of Gwoza's palace around 6:30pm and set the place ablaze using Improvised Explosives Device (IED).

Weekly Trust gathered that all the inmates at the prison were set free by the gunmen who came to the area with three vehicles, chanting 'Allahu Akbar'.

Our correspondent learnt that one person was hit by stray bullet during the attack and was rushed to the General Hospital in the town for medical attention.

Weekly Trust also learnt that the whole town was thrown into pandemonium as people run for the safety of their homes as gunshots rented the air.

The gunmen who were said to have operated for more than an hour, it was learnt, fled after the incident.

There was no official statement on the incident, but a top security source confirmed the attack on the prison yard to Weekly Trust. Also in Potiskum, Yobe State, gunmen Thursday night killed a police constable and prison warder in their residents located along old Army Barrack road, in Potiskum, Yobe State.

Weekly Trust gathered that the assailants stormed the officers' residents around 8:00pm and shot them dead at a close range.

A resident in the area said the officers went to buy some provisions at a nearby shop when the gunmen hid inside the house and waited for their arrival. "They shot them at close range and fled the area immediately," he said.

He said the remains of the officers were later conveyed to the Potiskum General Hospital.

Yobe State Police Commissioner, Sanusi Ahmed Rufa'I confirmed the incident to Weekly Trust. "Yes, a Police constable and a prison warder were killed, though I don't have details of the prison warder, but my officer was killed inside his family house located at old Army Barrack road."

He said there was security report that the suspected Boko Haram members had planned to launched an attack and bombed some places in the town.

"I spent the Thursday night there with my men to make sure nothing happened, it was when I later on returned to Damaturu this morning I received signal that they were killed on the out skirt of the town," he said.

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