Gunmen raid prison, free inmates in Nigeria

2013-03-16 11:48
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kano - Gunmen have raided a prison in a northern Nigeria border town with Cameroon, freeing 170 inmates and killing a civilian, officials and residents said on Friday.

The civilian was shot dead in crossfire when the gunmen in cars and on motorcycles stormed the prison Thursday in Gwoza, 130km from the restive city of Maiduguri, the hotbed of Boko Haram Islamists, they said.

"There was a total of 170 inmates in the prison and all of them were freed by the gunmen who overwhelmed us with their superior fire power," a prison warden involved in the shootout, who requested anonymity, told AFP.

"They set fire to the administrative building but spared the inmates' rooms which they broke into and set all of them free," he said.

"A civilian was killed by a stray bullet during the shootout," he added.

Resident Zakari Kyari said the gunmen had taken part in the evening prayer at a nearby mosque before storming the prison.

"Around 19:00 just after the prayers the gunmen opened fire on the prison, chanting 'Allahu Akbar' and the wardens returned gunfire which led to a shootout," he said.

Two other residents gave a similar account of the prison raid.

The spokesperson for the joint military task force in the area, Sagir Musa, said he was not aware of the attack.

It was not clear if the attackers were members of Boko Haram who have been blamed for scores of attacks in the area, or criminal gangs that also operate in the region.

On 5 March, gunmen killed nine people, including two policemen in an overnight raid on a police station in Gwoza.

Nigeria has seen an upsurge in the Boko Haram insurgency in recent years. Violence blamed on the extremists has claimed some 3 000 lives in northern and central Nigeria.
Read more on:    boko haram  |  nigeria  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.