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Just In: Over 600 Inmates Escaped From Kuje Prison - FG Declares

No fewer than 600 inmates escaped from the Kuje Medium Custodial Centre in Abuja after gunmen attacked Tuesday night, the Federal Government has confirmed.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Dr Shuaib Belgore, said civil defence personnel died in the gun battle between security agencies and the attackers.

Belgore, who toured the facility to ascertain the level of damage and casualties, said about 600 inmates escaped from the facility which had a total of 994 inmates.

He could not however confirm the whereabouts of ex-Plateau Governor Joshua Dariye and his Taraba counterpart Jolly Nyame who were in the facility before the attacks.

The Permanent Secretary also could not give information on the possible escape of Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari and his men who were also inside the facility.

But he said 300 of the escapees have been retrieved while between 50 to 60 have been apprehended in the outskirts of the FCT by security operatives who have launched a manhunt for the escaped inmates.

Belgore disclosed that the assailants apparently came determined as they fought security operatives in the facility for more than 30 minutes, saying reinforcement was called but they escaped before the arrival of more security personnel.

Asked if there were casualties on the sides of the terrorists, Belgore said it was possible they picked up those gunned down by security operatives from their sides and ran away with them.

He also said personnel who suffered gunshot wounds have been evacuated and taken to hospitals for treatment.

He added that a military helicopter is being used to trail the escaped inmates while urging citizens to be conscious of their environment and report strangers to the authorities.

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