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More than 100 inmates at large after Nigerian prison break


Some 132 inmates remain at large following a prison break in Nigeria's Kogi state, the same facility attacked by Boko Haram Islamists in 2012, state authorities said Monday. A blast struck a Shiite ceremony in Yobe in a separate attack on Monday.


"There were 145 prisoners at the time of the attack. One died, eight have been recaptured and four surrendered voluntarily. The rest are at large," said Jacob Edi, spokesman for Kogi's Governor Idris Wada.

"They blew up the thing with dynamite," national police spokesman Emmanuel Ojukwu told AFP earlier of the prison attack, which took place late on Sunday.

The Koton Karfi prison in Kogi is thought to hold many suspected Boko Haram fighters, but Ojukwu said the raid was not linked to the group's Islamist uprising, instead citing "criminal activity".

Boko Haram claimed reponsibility for a February 2012 attack on the same prison that freed more than 100 inmates. A former spokesman for the insurgent group known as Abul Qaqa, whom the military has since claimed to have killed, said at the time that the raid was aimed at freeing several of its members.

Governor Wada toured the site on Monday to assess the damage, his spokesman said.

Blast targets Shiite ceremony

The prison break came a day before a large explosion struck a procession of worshippers taking part in a Shiite ceremony in northeast Nigeria's Yobe state, an area repeatedly targeted by Boko Haram Islamists.

A police officer at the scene, in the Tsohuwar Kasuwa area of Potiskum city, said "it was a huge crowd, and many of them were affected", adding: "The priority is to rescue the injured."

Witness Ibrahim Maina said the explosion was the result of a bomb that went off 10 metres (32 feet) from the emir's palace.

Potiskum is the economic capital of Yobe, which is one of three northeastern states under emergency rule since May of last year because of the insurgency.

In July, four Shiites were killed in a bomb attack blamed on Boko Haram at an open-air mosque in the Dogo Tebo area of the the city.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)


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