At least 108 out of 240 inmates who escaped from a prison in central Nigeria have been recaptured, according to a prison official on Tuesday.
Late on Sunday, heavily armed gunmen invaded the Security Custodial Centre in Kabba, Kogi State, liberating a large number of convicts.
Although the identity of the shooters was unknown, criminal gangs have terrorized central and northwest Nigeria for years.
Nigeria’s prisons service spokesman Francis Enobore told AFP over the phone, “We have a total of 108 detainees rearrested.”
“However, the figure will undoubtedly rise as the day unfolds,” he noted, adding that “various processes have been launched to ensure all inmates are rearrested.”
On Sunday about 2245 GMT, the spokesman said.
Several attackers “engaged the armed guards in a heated gun fight” at about 2245 GMT on Sunday, according to the spokesman.
The shooters broke into the prison, which at the time had 294 inmates in custody, including 224 pre-trial detainees.
According to Enobore, a soldier and a police officer were killed in the incident.
In Nigeria, large prison outbreaks are fairly unusual.
On April 5, gunmen raided Owerri police headquarters, in Nigeria’s southern Imo state, freeing more than 1,800 inmates.
In addition to fighting criminal gangs who also kidnap people for ransom and rustle cattle, Nigeria’s security forces are facing a violent jihadist insurgency in the northeast and separatist agitation in the southeast.