The Kuje Custodial Centre located in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory came under attack late Tuesday night apparently to free jailed criminals, despite an earlier warning by the country’s intelligence service.
A prison source stated that the State Security Service had “earlier today (Tuesday)” warned of an impending attack on Kuje prison. The source, however, could not describe the level of measures put in place to forestall the attack.
“Kuje prison is under massive bomb, armed attack,” a prison staff stated that as the attack was being carried out late Tuesday.
In the later update that emerged, the source said the attackers used three bombs and forcibly gained control of four entry and exit points.
The prison is in Kuje Area Council of the FCT, lying outside the Abuja city center, 47 kilometers to the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, and 24 kilometers to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
Dangerous criminals, including apprehended Boko Haram terrorists, are held in the prison, which also houses high profile public officers standing trial or already convicted.
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“Three weeks ago, several high profile terrorists were relocated to Kuje prison,” the prison source said, the earliest link officials are analysing to trace the motivation for the attack.
Kuje has a capacity of about 550 but currently detains about 1000 inmates, a prison source said.
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Reports making the rounds suggests that the custodial service sought and got reinforcements from the army, police, and the SSS.
Specifically, soldiers of the 176 Special Forces Guards Brigade Battalion, Gwagwalada, were deployed by the army, officials stated.
The impact of the attack is not immediately known but officials are suspecting a terrorist motivation to free dangerous criminals.
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