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Some ‘Unknown Gunmen’ in the early hours of Monday attacked the Nigeria Correctional Service, Owerri, the Imo State capital and the state police command headquarters.
According to reports, the gunmen also killed two persons and burnt operational vehicles of the Nigerian Army when they attacked a military base at Umuorji on the Owerri- Onitsha expressway.
According to a statement from the headquarters of the NCoS said 1,844 inmates fled the facility in Owerri during the attack.
Following the escalation in the spate of attacks on security formations in the South-East, the President, Muhammadu Buhari, described the attacks in Imo State as terrorism and ordered security agencies to apprehend the culprits.
On his part, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, blamed the Indigenous People of Biafra and the Eastern Security Network for the attacks.
But IPOB in its reaction denied involvement in the attack, saying its men were in the bush chasing herdsmen and have no business going after security agencies.
An officer of the NCoS, who spoke to correspondents on condition of anonymity, said the gunmen arrived at the correctional centre at 1 am and operated till 3 am.
The hoodlums engaged in a shooting spree and freed no fewer than 1,844 inmates of the correctional service before setting vehicles on fire.
Further reports gathered noted that the hoodlums gained access into the centre with the aid of explosives and told the inmates to go home, saying ‘Jesus has risen, you have no reason to be here again.’
They were said to have sung solidarity songs at the Government House roundabout for about 30 minutes before attacking the facility.
It was gathered that the armed guards of the facility fled as the invaders stormed the facility. An officer said wardens sustained injuries as they fled.
The officer, who spoke to correspondents also revealed that the hoodlums carted away arms and ammunition and destroyed the closed-circuit television of the centre during the attack.
At the state police command, it was learnt that the gunmen burnt almost all the vehicles parked at the command and freed all the suspects in almost all the cells at the state Criminal Investigation Department.
The gunmen, who operated in over 10 vehicles, also attacked soldiers at Umuorji on the Owerri-Onitsha expressway.
A villager told correspondents that the hoodlums burnt the operational vehicles of the soldiers, as the military men fled the area.
Two persons including a soldier died during the attack.
When contacted, the police spokesperson in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed the attacks.
He, however, assured the people of the state that the security agencies were on top of the matter.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK