In an attack on a prison in the Nigerian state of Imo, armed men liberated hundreds of detainees. According to government officials, more than 1800 people have escaped. In the attack, explosives were used. At the same time, attacks took place on police stations and government buildings. The action lasted a total of two hours, say eyewitnesses.
According to a prison spokesman, in the south-east of the country, the situation is now under control. The prison officially accommodates 548 detainees, but in practice there are many more people in prison than is allowed.
In the state of Imo lies the former independent region of Biafra, where a separatist movement operates. It recently brought out video footage showing hundreds of fighters in training. The group denies anything to do with the attack. The action has not been claimed. Who the men are is unknown.
Two weeks ago, it also came to an armed meeting with insurgents. At that time, at least twelve security officers were killed and military checkpoints and government vehicles were attacked.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari calls the attack “a terrorist act” and says he does everything in his power to catch the perpetrators. He also uses extra manpower to track down the escaped prisoners. Among them are many dangerous criminals, according to the President.