Armed attackers free 118 inmates from Nigerian jail

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Armed attackers have stormed a federal prison in Nigeria, killing one guard and freeing 118 inmates in the latest attack on the country’s stability.

The attack on the prison happened at Koton-Karifi, a town south of Nigeria’s capital Abuja.

The gunmen attacked at night, fighting through the prison gate and killing one guard, said a prisons spokesman.

Those inside the prison escaped in the fighting, with 118 inmates known to be missing.

However, local prison official said guards still had not completed a head count and did not know how many prisoners actually were inside the prison at the time of the attack.

The government said an investigation into the attack had begun.

“One does not really know why” the gunmen attacked, said a prisons spokesman. “It might be that some of the armed robbers are trying to free the armed robbers there awaiting trial.”

The prison held armed robbers and kidnappers. The spokesman did not know if the prison held any members of a radical Islamist sect known as Boko Haram, which has been plaguing the country with violence over the last year.

Boko Haram launched a similar massive prison break in Bauchi state in September 2010 that freed about 700 inmates there. The latest attack used similar explosives and munitions.