Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nigeria: Heavily Armed Gang Frees 118 Inmates from Federal Prison

As if Nigeria does not have enough trouble, a heavily-armed gang equipped with assault rifles and hand grenades stormed a federal prison at Koton-Karifi, (a town in Kogi state just south of the central capital Abuja), freeing as many as 118 inmates on Wednesday (February 15).

Now, here's the interesting part: only one prison guard was killed, giving though as to why there was not a more concerted defense of the prison. The prison held mostly hardened, career criminals.

Boko Haram, a Muslim extremist group fighting to institute sharia law throughout Nigeria, launched a similar massive prison break in Bauchi state in September 2010 that freed nearly 700 inmates.

COMMENT: No group immediately claimed responsibility for the prison attack. Typically, huge prison breaks in developing nations are not possible without pre-incident surveillance and "inside" help, which may explain why only one guard was killed.

Unfortunately, this prison assault will only add more criminals to the streets, in an already lawless country.

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