Members of Boko Haram, an Islamist armed group from Nigeria, have stormed a prison in Yobe state in the country’s northeast, freeing 40 inmates, police has said, in the latest of a string of attacks blamed on the group.

"There was an attack on the Yobe prison this morning, the Boko Haram sect attacked the prison through the Emir palace, 40 inmates escaped," Patrick Egbuniwe, Yobe State police commissioner, said on Sunday.

"They attacked with rifles, the police and the joint task force confronted them and the Boko Haram members that were shot were carried away by the sect."

He said two of the attackers were shot dead and some policemen were injured.

Gun battles between Boko Haram members and security forces in Yobe's capital Damaturu killed 40 people on Tuesday last week.

Boko Haram has been blamed for several prison breaks in the past and one of the group's few demands has been that its imprisoned members should be freed.

The group, which is based in the remote northeast, has rapidly overtaken rebels in the oil-producing southern Niger Delta as the country's biggest security threat.

Months of gun and bomb attacks blamed on the Islamist group have killed hundreds since the movement started its uprising more than two years ago.

It is fighting to carve out an Islamic state in Nigeria – a country nearly evenly split between Muslims and Christians.

Attacks on churches have intensified this month, sparking deadly religious violence in northern Kaduna state.

Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigerian president, said Boko Haram was seeking to incite a religious crisis by attacking churches in an attempt to destabilise the government.

"Terrorists all over the world have one common agenda: destabilising government," he said during a question-and-answer session on national television.


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Re: Prison attack frees inmates in Yobe
Agensheku posted on 06-27-2012, 06:46:07 AM
Guns boom in Kano, Yobe
By Kolade Adeyemi, Kano and Duku Joel, Damaturu
-Policeman, four gunmen dead -Security tips for churches, mosques

Guns boomed again in Kano, the North's commercial engine-room, and Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, last night.

Improvised Explosive Devices (IEAs) were set off in attacks on a police station and a prison in Kano. The Joint Task Force (JTF) returned fire, combing the area for suspects.

Yesterday's terror strike coincided with the resumption in Abuja of the newly appointed National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki.

Kano and Damaturu have been the centre of operations by terrorists, particularly the Islamist Boko Haram (Western education is sin).

In Kano, gunmen suspected to be members of the sect stormed the police station and the prison yard near frontline businessman Ishyaku Rabiu's home in Dala Local Government within the metropolis. They set off explosives and fired guns sporadically.

The incident, which happened from about 5:30 p.m., left residents in fear.

\"We heard multiple sounds of explosions followed by shootings. As I am speaking with you now, the frightening sounds of gunshots are still reverberating. We cannot ascertain where the shots and bombings are coming from.

\"People who left for the day's business cannot come back home. Some of us inside our homes are trapped. No one goes out or comes in. Children and women are wailing. It is a terrible situation,\" a resident said on the telephone.

Security sources said the terrorists planted over 20 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) within the area.

\"We were very surprised at the attack. But I want to assure you that we are on top of the situation. As I am speaking to you now, we are taking them on a deadly shootout. There is heavy reinforcement of the JTF.

\"We have cordoned off the area with over 15 Hilux vehicles. We warned them and they must surrender. We are not taking chances. They must be brought down to their knees,\" a member of the JTF operation team said on telephone.

The Goron Dutse Police Station was attacked with explosives.

Five persons - a police corporal and four terrorists - were killed, a police source said last night.

Explosions were also heard at Challawa Area near the Mobile Police Formation.

At the spot of the attack, there is a police barracks and a prison and no one could tell the main target of the attack.

As at the time of filing in this report, the total casualty figure could not be ascertained.

In Damaturu, unidentified gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram launched another onslaught on the city.

Commissioner of Police Patrick Egbuniwe confirmed the incident last night.

The Nation gathered from Sabon Pegi residents close to the scene of the exchange of fire that \"the battle was fiecre and scary\".

There were thunderous blasts and sporadic gunshots that resonated across the town at about 5:30pm, sending cold shivers in the spines of residents.

Loud explosions were heard near the Federal Polytechnic, Damaturu but the CP said the attackers were repelled from entering the school.

He however noted that the police and the Joint Task Force (JTF) could not ascertain any damage because the incident took place \"very late\".

\"Right now, we don't know what damage has been caused because this took place very late as you can see,\" Egbuniwe said.

Students of Federal Polytechnic, Damaturu were last Thursday asked to vaccate the campus till further notice following the Monday attacks in the town.

The latest attack came barely 24 hours after the government had further relaxed the 18 hours curfew from 6pm to 7am daily.

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