Boko Haram claims attack on Kogi Prison

Channels Television  
Updated February 17, 2012

Boko Haram claims attack on Kogi Prison

The Radical Islamic sect, Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s breaking into the Koton-Karfe prison in Kogi state and freed over one hundred inmates.

A spokesman for the group, who identified himself as Abul-Qaqa disclosed this in a conference call with journalists in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital on Thursday night.

“We staged the operation to rescue seven of our members there (in the prison) and Allah made it possible for the operation to be successful,” Abul-Qada said. He confidently added that “our members are now safely reunited in one of our camps.”

This is coming despite a claim by the Controller-General of Nigerian Prison, Zakari Ibrahim, that the gunmen that attacked the prison were not Boko Haram. Mr. Ibrahim denied the reports that the armed men who broke into the Koton-Karfe prison were members of Boko haram.

He made this known after his inspection of the remains of the attacked prison and a new prison structure in the state. The Controller-General argued that, “they have no records of Boko haram suspects in the prisons in Kogi” and he assured that further investigations are on to determine who the attackers were.

Armed gunmen stormed the prison, Wednesday night with heavy gunfire and explosions, killing one guard and freeing 118 inmates. The gunmen blasted through the prison’s gate with a bomb, leading to the escape of those inside the prison.

However, the Kogi state command of the Nigeria Prisons Service has re-arrested 29 of the 118 inmates who escaped from the Koton-Karfe prison on Wednesday when gunmen attacked the prison.

Sources at the prison say the inmates were picked up from different locations in Koton-Karfe and other villages along the Lokoja-Abuja highway between Wednesday and Thursday.
A manhunt for the remaining inmates is still ongoing.

Boko Haram had in 2010 conducted a similar prison break in Bauchi where it set free about 700 inmates. A similar attack was launched in Kano, earlier in the year when it attacked the police station and prison, setting free hundreds of inmates.