Tension gripped a town in southeast Nigeria on Tuesday, a day after gunmen blasted their way into a prison, freed more than 1,800 inmates and then looted a police station, local inhabitants said. The town of Owerri was calm but the mood was apprehensive, as residents said they worried about violence from escapees or being caught in an attack by the security forces.
“Many are afraid that the escapees may return… while others are thinking that the security forces will come for a reprisal,” said local journalist Damian Duruiheoma.
Security in the area was heavy, he said, noting that “the areas attacked have been cordoned off.”
Gunmen using explosives and rockets blasted their way into Owerri prison at dawn on Monday, engaging guards in a gun battle and breaking out inmates, the Nigerian Correctional Service said.
A total of 1,844 inmates were freed.