More than 100 Nigerian prisoners on the loose after suspected Boko Haram jailbreak

Local media reported heavy gunfire and the use of dynamite as the army attempts to regain control in the central Nigerian state

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The Independent Online

Over 100 prisoners have escaped a Nigerian prison in a devastating jailbreak that appears to have been orchestrated by Boko Haram gunmen.

Reports estimate that gunmen using dynamite to blast open the walls of the prison have freed between 132 and 140 inmates from Koton-Karfi Prison, Kogi state, central Nigeria in an attack yesterday.

Jacob Edi, a spokesman for the area governor's office said to Sky News: "There were 145 prisoners at the time of the attack. One died, eight have been recaptured and four surrendered voluntarily. The rest are at large."

"They blew up the thing with dynamite," said national police spokesman Emmanuel Ojukwu of the attack which took place on Sunday evening.

The Abuju Times claimed local residents heard heavy gunfire and artillery fire when they prison break began at roughly 10pm. One resident claims the gunfire lasted for hours as soldiers attempted to shut down the escape.

A similar break occurred at same prison three years ago. Boko Haram were widely suspected as being behind the previous attack, however, this was disputed by the government at the time.

 

Mr Ojukwu claimed the raid was not linked to the militant group, blaming it on "criminal activity" instead.

The jail break comes as an apparent suicide bomber in the northeast city of Potiskum, Yobe state, reportedly killed 15 people and injured tens more. The blast detonated as Shia muslims were marking the tenth day of Muharram, Ashoura.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for either attack, but militant organisation Boko Haram are suspected to be behind the jailbreak plot.

The group was first mentioned in Western media after the abduction of 220 Nigerian schoolgirls from Chibok last April.

The group asked for the exchange of high profile prisoners for the children, however, Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan refused.

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