Dozens of inmates were freed after gunmen attacked a prison in southwest Nigeria, the Associated Press quoted an official as saying on Saturday. This was the third jailbreak in the country this year. The authorities could not immediately ascertain the number of people who escaped the prison following the attack.
The attack took place on late Friday night and the ongoing investigation into the incident is yet to reveal the extent of the damage.
A handful of such attacks took place last year as well, with many raising alarm about the safety of detention facilities in the West African nation.
“I can’t ascertain the number of people that escaped or that were recaptured but I am telling you that the security has been beefed up around the custodial center and the town,” Olanrewaju Anjorin, a spokesman of the Oyo correctional centre in Oyo state, told the AP.
With jailbreaks becoming more frequent recently, it has become difficult for the police to capture inmates who escape. Lagos-based online newspaper TheCable reported in July this year that at least 4,307 inmates had escaped from prisons since 2017, based on compiled media reports, according to the AP report.
In 2021 alone, more than 2,000 inmates were freed in two earlier jailbreaks: on Sept 13 when 240 inmates were freed after gunmen attacked a detention facility in north-central Kogi state with explosives and on April 5 when at least 1,800 were freed in the southeast Imo state when another facility was also blown up.
Even though the recent jailbreaks in the country seem to have no connection to each other, all of them have been carried out using explosives, said the AP report. Authorities succeeded in rearresting some escaped inmates, others reportedly returned willingly.
(With AP inputs)
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