A correctional facility and police investigations department in Owerri in Imo State, southeast Nigeria, have been set ablaze by unidentified attackers in an overnight operation on Monday, April 5.
A witnesses said that the attackers struck the prison and police department shortly after midnight, freeing a yet-unconfirmed number of inmates and suspects.
Heavy gunfire also rang through the area, with an account saying over hundreds ofinmates might have escaped.
It has not been ascertain yet how many prisoners escaped, but Amnesty International said over the weekend that Owerri Correctional Centre had 2,156 inmates as against its installed capacity of 548 people.
The level of destruction and casualty figures were not immediately available, but pictures shared on the micro-blogging site, Twitter, showed heavy smokes billowing from what posters said were the scenes of the attack that lasted for more than two hours.
Meanwhile, the Imo police spokesman Godson Orlando said he was unaware of the violence, hours after reports had spread across social media with residents across different sections of Owerri reporting hearing heavy gunshots and explosions.
“I will have to wait until later today to find out what happened.”