How Terrorists Attacked Kuje Prison, Freed 150 Boko Haram Fighters  – THISDAYLIVE

How Terrorists Attacked Kuje Prison, Freed 150 Boko Haram Fighters  – THISDAYLIVE

*Six inmates, one security personnnel killed

*Defence Minister: 600 Escaped, Some recaptured, situation under control

*Abba Kyari, others moved to unknown location

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

Boko Haram terrorists launched a ferocious attack on Kuje Correctional Center Tuesday night, deploying bombs, Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) and General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG), freeing no less than 600 inmates, including Boko Haram fighters detained at the facility.

Six inmates and one security personnnel were killed during the attack.

But the Minister of Defence, Maj  Gen Bashir Magashi (rtd) said of the 994 inmates at the prison, 600 escaped.

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello and the Commissioner of Police, Mr Sunday Babaji are presently at the scene of the attack.

Prison officials said at the end of the attack following a roll call taken at 2am, on Wednesday, only 111 inmates were left.

The situation also forced the relocation of other other high profile detainees, notably, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, among others.

The insurgents had attacked through the back of the prison and  planted bombs around the facility.

The minister, who said the situation was under control, confirmed that Boko Haram inmates had all escaped.

“The attack started around 10:30pm. They came in their number, gained entrance into the prison and they released some of the inmates and which we are now following to see the kind of inmates that they have released.

“Very soon, we will give you the correct figure of the inmates that were taken. Aside that, we are trying to see what we can do to ensure that all escapees are returned back”, he said.

“The prison is accommodating about 994 inmates and over 600 escaped. Many people have been recaptured and brought back to the prison. Maybe by the close of the day, more will have been captured and returned.

“I think everything is under control. The people who came to do this activity, from the records, we believe they belong to a particular group. Most likely, they are Boko Haram members because we have sizeable number of Boko Haram suspects in detention, and presently we cannot locate any of them.nI think they are about 64 in the prison and none of them now is available, they have all escaped,” the minister said.

A statement issued by the minister’s office said  Magashi, who was received and conducted round the damaged facility by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Interior, Dr Shuaib Belgore, “described the organised crime as unfortunate. 

“The Defence Minister, who had to delay his flying time to Owerri, Imo State, to attend the Nigerian Army Day Celebration NADCEL, was also briefed extensively by the Controller General of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa, as well as other heads of military and para- military agencies on hand at the location.

“This was with a view to conducting a post- attack analysis  and to forestall a re-occurence of the dastardly act by the gunmen believed to be terrorists”.

While fielding questions from journalists, the minister appreciated the timely repelling of the attack by the gallant security operatives, who were drafted in on reinforcement to contain the attackers, who set free an undisclosed numbers of inmates.

He reasured Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari will be briefed and gave an assurance  that the jailbreakers cannot go unapprehended and would definitely face the wrath of the law.

The Defence Minister disclosed that further briefing on the incident that led to the attack will be received, adding  that one life was lost on the side of the proactive repellants security forces

The attackers had deployed explosives which rocked Kuje town for more than one hour with sustained sporadic gunfire.

The attack which started about 10 pm Tuesday night went unchallenged for the period it lasted.

Prison officials at the Kuje Correctional Center, Abuja, said over 150 terrorists were freed on Tuesday night after the center came under heavy bombardment.

“All the major, biggest terrorist, armed robbers and kidnapper have escaped. 

“No reinforcement came two hours after attack. Nobody came for assistance. Kuje correctional center completely taken over and all criminals and terrorists have escaped,” an official, who spoke anonymously, said.

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