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Gunmen invade Jos prison, trapped in premises


Sporadic gunshots were witnessed at the premises and surroundings of the Jos Correctional Centre on Sunday evening.

It was gathered that the exchange of gunfire was between security agents and gunmen who were said to have stormed the correctional centre with the mission to rescue some inmates.

Some residents of the barracks within the premises of the correctional centre fled their homes during the crossfire which started around 5.30pm on Sunday.

One of the residents, who escaped from her house in the barracks to nearby Jenta Adamu community, narrated her experience to The PUNCH.

She said, “I just came from the church around 5pm on Sunday and was waiting for somebody outside our house in the barracks.

“A few minutes later, I saw some men with guns trying to talk to some of the officers close to the gate of the correctional centre. As they were still talking, some other persons were trekking towards them while a vehicle was also moving towards the direction of the correctional facility.

“Before we knew what was happening, there were gunshots everywhere while thick smoke was also coming from the prison facility. It was then that we knew that the prison facility was under attack and we started running to a place of safety.”

When one of our correspondents visited the area around 6pm, security operatives who were drafted to the correctional centre to confront the gunmen were seen riding on motorbikes towards the Jos Correctional Centre while all roads leading to the facility were blocked.

Sporadic gunfire could also be heard from the direction of the centre located in between the state Police Command headquarters and that of the Directorate of State Services.

The incident also caused panic among residents while many people were stranded as motorists avoided the area.

A statement by the Nigerian Correctional Service’s spokesman, Francis Enobore, said though the gunmen gained entrance to the yard, they were, however, trapped within the premises as security operatives cordoned off the perimeter wall and the entire area.

The statement titled, ‘Jos Custodial Centre attacked by gunmen, trapped in the yard,’ read, “Reinforcement from the response squad of the service has also been mobilised to the centre.

“The situation is presently under control as the attackers’ firing power is being subdued by superior fire from a combined team of security agencies. Update will be made available as event unfolds.”

Meanwhile, seven inmates who escaped have been re-arrested.

The state police command’s spokesman, Ubah Ogaba, confirmed the development in a statement on Sunday.

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