Fear In Nigerian Town After Mass Jailbreak
Muhammad Irfan 6 days ago Tue 06th April 2021 | 07:51 PM
Tension gripped a town in southeastern Nigeria on Tuesday, a day after gunmen blasted their way into a prison, freed more than 1,800 inmates and then looted a police station, local inhabitants said
Owerri, Nigeria, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 6th Apr, 2021 ) :Tension gripped a town in southeastern Nigeria on Tuesday, a day after gunmen blasted their way into a prison, freed more than 1,800 inmates and then looted a police station, local inhabitants said.
"Many are afraid that the escapees may return... while others are thinking that the security forces will come for a reprisal," said local journalist Damian Duruiheoma.
Security in the area was heavy, he said.
"The areas attacked have been cordoned off," he said.
Outside one of the buildings, incinerated vehicles and fire-blackened walls showed the scale of the assault.
A total of 1,844 inmates were freed.
"Some of the inmates are back while we are hunting for the rest," a prison official told AFP, without disclosing his name or giving details on numbers.
Resident Chizoba Ekeh told AFP that "everyone is being careful while going about their normal businesses.
" Another inhabitant, George Onyemuwa, shared this concern.
"A situation where police and military equipment were destroyed and you are asking if there's apprehension?" he asked rhetorically.
"People think that there may be reprisals," he said.
"We do not know who the perpetrators are but I think the government needs to do something before it gets out of hand," he added.
No group has so far claimed responsibility, although 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.
As many as 70 percent of inmates are on remand and can be held awaiting trial for years.
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.
But IPOB spokesman Emmanuel Powerful rejected any involvement in the Imo prison attack in a statement sent to AFP, dismissing accusations as "lies".