heavily armed gunmen attacked a prison and freed up to 800 inmates, including 150 suspected members of a militant Islamic sect.
Police said the gunmen killed one soldier, a police officer and two residents after setting ablaze part of the jail in the central city of Bauchi. "About 50 men with machine-guns came to the prison site, forced it open and released all the prisoners," said one resident.
Witnesses said it was believed the attackers were from Boko Haram, a sect behind an uprising which killed hundreds of people in and around the city of Maiduguri a year ago. Known locally as the Taliban, the sect opposes Western education and culture.