Abuja: Nearly 300 prisoners escaped after alleged Boko Haram raid on prison in Nigeria

The raid and separate ambush on an advanced convoy of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who was not present, en route to his hometown in the northern state of Katsina, highlights Nigeria’s current security concerns, especially in northern regions where armed insurgents and gangs are widespread. .

Shuaib Belgor, permanent secretary of the interior ministry, told reporters near the Abuja prison, which houses 900 prisoners, that a security officer was killed and three others were injured during the raid.

He said the suspects in the Boko Haram attack had come for the members who were being held in the prison.

“They came specifically for their accomplices, but to get them … some of them are in the general (prison) population, so they escaped, and other people from this population also escaped, but many of them returned,” Belgor said.

He added that more than 600 prisoners had fled, but half had been caught, and the manhunt continued.

“They reported themselves to the police, we successfully removed some from the bushes where they were hiding, and (so far) we have removed about 300 of the approximately 600 that came out of prison cells,” he said.

The charred remains of several vehicles with bullet holes were seen outside the prison on Wednesday morning, suggesting firefights nearby during the raid.

More than 600 prisoners have escaped, but half have been caught and the manhunt continues, said Shuaib Belgor, permanent secretary at Nigeria's interior ministry.

The helicopter hovered overhead as armed security personnel brought in a shirtless prisoner, limping with a gaping wound on his leg, and carried another wounded prisoner to the prison.

Buhari was not in the car convoy with the advance group of security guards, protocol officers and media, heading to President Daur’s hometown, near the border with Niger, to prepare for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

“The attackers opened fire on the convoy from an ambush, but were repulsed by the military, police and security personnel accompanying the convoy,” the statement said.