Armed attackers raid prison on outskirts of Nigerian capital

Armed attackers have raided a prison near the capital of Nigeria, where residents reported hearing several explosions.

The Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre on the outskirts of Abuja came under attack late on Tuesday, authorities said.“The armed squad of the Nigerian Correctional Service and other security agencies attached to the Custodial centre have responded and calm has been restored to the facility and the situation is under control,” a prison service spokesman said in a statement.

A statement from the president’s office said the attackers were “repelled by the military, police and security personnel accompanying the convoy”.

It was not immediately clear who carried out the attack.

Nigeria has experienced spiralling insecurity in recent years, with security forces battling a grinding 13-year armed uprising by the Boko Haram group and its splinter groups in the country’s northeast and heavily armed criminal gangs that operate in the northwest. The violence has gradually moved towards the country’s centre, where Abuja is located.

Meanwhile, armed men locally known as bandits often raid and loot villages and carry out mass abductions for ransom despite military operations against them in northwest and central Nigeria.

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