Islamic Radicals Storm Nigeria Prison, 119 Inmates Escape

Posted February 16th, 2012 at 6:30 pm (UTC-5)
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Islamic radicals have stormed a prison near Nigeria's capital, killing one guard and letting 119 inmates flee into the night.

Witnesses say about 20 gunmen on motorcycles rode up to the prison in the town of Koton-Karifi, shot at the guards, and bombed the main gate.

The ultra-conservative Islamic group Boko Haram claimed responsibility Thursday for the attack, saying it wanted to free seven of its imprisoned followers. But 119 prisoners escaped. Authorities say they have recaptured 25 inmates.

Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is a sin,” is responsible for hundreds of deaths in northern Nigeria. The group wants to impose strict Islamic law and has threatened to kill Christians living in the Muslim majority north.

Nigerian authorities say a former soldier is wanted in connection with the Christmas Day bombing of a church in Abuja by Boko Haram, killing more than 30 people.