Nigerian security forces recapture dozens of inmates released in massive jailbreak

A total of 114 of the 266 inmates who escaped from a Nigerian prison on Sunday have been recaptured, the prison service said on Tuesday.

Heavily armed gunmen raided the medium-security jail at Kabba in south-central Nigeria late on Sunday, blowing up the perimeter fence and freeing almost everyone, but killing a soldier and a police officer, authorities said.

The attackers fought a gun battle with guards in what was the second major jailbreak in Nigeria this year.

“Following the attack … and the swift intervention of the controller general of corrections … a total of 114 escapees have been recaptured,” a spokesman said.

Nigeria is struggling with security problems across its vast territory, including armed robberies by criminal gangs, an Islamic insurgency in the northeast and a spate of mass abductions from schools in the northwest.

Twenty-eight out of the 294 inmates at Kabba did not escape, the interior ministry said, meaning 266 had got away. The prison service had initially put the number of fugitives at 240.

The spokesman said extra armed guards had been deployed to beef up security at the prison, and urged the remaining escapees to turn in themselves within the next 24 hours.

The prison service said the Kabba jail was established in 2008 with a capacity for 200 inmates. At the time of the attack, there were 224 pre-trial detainees and 70 convicted offenders inside.

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