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Commando-style gunmen storm Nigerian prison, free inmates

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Commando-style armed men suspected to be terrorists in the early hours of Monday attacked a correctional facility in Owerri, the Imo State capital, freeing some inmates.

The gunmen also proceeded to the Imo State Police Headquarters where they set ablaze the building and destroyed all vehicles within the vicinity.

PRNigeria, a news agency with close ties to the Nigerian military, reported that the armed men used guns and dynamite to carry out the attack.

It said the overnight attack was carried out by the members of the secessionist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

It said the group, which had been alleged to be behind the killing of security personnel in the South-east, stormed the facilities and set ablaze some offices, structures and vehicles within the vicinity.

“Heavy gunshots and explosions could be heard in the area when they arrived with sophisticated weapons including dynamite and guns.

“Meanwhile while some of the inmates in the Correctional facility refused to go others have voluntarily returned,” a security source told PRNigeria.

PRNIgeria also quoted another report as saying, “At about 0100hrs of date, armed men suspected to be members of IPOB/ESN criminal gang in their numbers invaded Owerri Prisons mine using dynamites and other heavy explosives, gained entrance and released some inmates in the prison.

“The hoodlums also attacked the Police State Headquarters Owerri while firing consistently with AK 47 rifles and explosives, released some suspects detained in the SCID cell and put fire on so many vehicles parked at the Headquarter premises including the SCID office building.

“The onslaught/operation lasted close to three(3) hours.”

The news agency said more than 30 inmates have already returned to the correctional facility.

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