Official: 240 inmates missing after Nigeria prison break

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Assailants attacked a prison in north-central Nigeria with explosives and gunfire at midnight, killing two security officers and leaving 240 inmates still missing on Monday, authorities said.

Interior Minister Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola said two other security officers remained missing after the violence at the correctional facility in Kogi state. A task force has been set up to recapture the inmates, he added.

The gunmen destroyed three sides of the prison’s perimeter fence with explosives and then overcame a team of 35 security officers, officials said. The prison was holding 294 inmates, but some did not try to escape and others had returned voluntarily Monday morning.

Sunday’s attack marks the second prison break this year in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation.

Authorities do not believe the incidents are connected, though, as the April jailbreak was blamed on pro-Biafra secessionists in the southeast. Some 1,844 inmates were set free during that violent attack in Imo state.

Two other prison breaks took place in the country’s southwest late last year amid nationwide protests against the police.

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