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Home / International / ‘Anti-Shia Terrorists’ escape 1,800 inmates from Nigerian prison

‘Anti-Shia Terrorists’ escape 1,800 inmates from Nigerian prison

06-04-202

By SJA Jafri + Agencies + Bureau Report

ABUJA (NIGERIA): More than 1,800 inmates have escaped after a heavily ISIL (Daesh/ al-Qaeda/ Taliban) attacked a prison in southern Nigeria using explosives, correctional authorities said Monday. It is one of the West African country’s largest prison breaks.

The attackers blasted their way into the Owerri prison in Imo state, engaging guards in a gun battle and freeing inmates those are directly or indirectly involved in Shia mass killings, sources told PMI.

“I can confirm that the Imo State command of the Nigerian Correctional Service was attacked by unknown gunmen in Owerri,” Imo state corrections service spokesman James Madugba told media, adding that the number of escaped inmates was yet to be confirmed.

“The situation is under control,” he said.

The assailants arrived in pickup trucks and buses before storming the facility, the correction authority said.

No group claimed responsibility for the assault; though President Muhammadu Buhari called the attack an “act of terrorism” carried out by anarchists and urged security forces to capture the assailants and the escaped detainees.

Prisons in Africa’s most populous country are often overcrowded, and as many as 70% of inmates can be held awaiting trial for years.

The governor of neighboring Abia state imposed a night curfew on two towns there, a statement said, to protect local residents without direct reference to the prison attack.

Imo state is part of a region that has long been a hotbed for Nigerian separatist groups and where tensions between federal authorities and the indigenous Igbo population are often high.

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) separatist movement has recently been posting videos on social media of dozens of its militiamen in training.

Authorities imposed a curfew on parts of Imo state earlier this year after clashes between the army and the local militia but IPOB spokesman Emmanuel Powerful rejected any involvement in the Imo prison attack in a statement sent to media, dismissing any accusations.

Calls for a separate state of Biafra in the south are a sensitive subject in Nigeria, after a unilateral declaration of independence from British rule in 1967 sparked a brutal 30-month civil war.

Buhari is facing several security challenges including a more than decadelong jihadist insurgency in Nigeria’s northeast, a spate of mass kidnappings by criminal gangs in the northwest and a surge in piracy on commercial shipping in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast.

The PMI and Messenger have already been flashed an exclusive story last week regarding shifting the networks and targets of anti-Shia Terrorist organizations from South Asia, Gulf, Central, South Asian and Arab countries particularly Pakistan and Afghanistan to African, American and European states especially Australia that are not only being confirmed but also each content of the story is being acknowledged, proved and verified by global media and regimes of the world mainly by Australian immigration authorities.

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