Abuja: Gunmen of radical Islamic sect Boko
Haram attacked a north Nigeria prison, and managed to free as
many as 800 inmates, including members of their extremist
outfit, officials said on Wednesday.
The Bauchi central prison was attacked last evening by
members of Boko Haram in an attempt to free their comrades,
Danlami Yar`Adua, the state police commissioner said.
The attack was also confirmed by an adviser to the
Bauchi state governor, and police officials said an estimated
800 inmates escaped the prison.
Four people were killed in the attack, police said.
The attackers broke open the locks of the cells, and
also set fire to parts of the facility.
The attack came as the army is conducting joint
patrols with police in Nigeria`s northern city of Maiduguri
after a wave of killings blamed on the radical sect.
The most recent shooting was on Sunday that left two
people dead, including a retired police officer Zannah Kyari
who gave testimony against Boko Haram in a court trial.
According to reports, six policemen and two civilians
have died in the recent attacks. Clashes between Boko Haram
and the police in July 2009 left over 700 dead including the
sect`s founder Mohammad Yusuf.
Boko Haram members have been issuing video warnings
against western education, which they term as "evil". In fact
the term `Boko Haram` stands for `western education is
sacrilege` in the local Hausa language.
The sect wants to enforce Islamic law across Nigeria
and has also burnt a number of churches.
Founded in 2004, the radical sect has clashed with
security forces in northern states of Bauchi, Borno, Kano and
Yobe. It calls it bases as "Afghanistan."
The oil-rich country has a population of about 150
million, divided equally between Muslims and Christians.