22nd March, 2013
Gunmen on Friday launched multiple attacks on the Ganye Divisional Police Headquarters, the prison and a bank in Nigeria’s north-eastern state of Adamawa.
A resident of Ganye, who spoke to NAN, said the attacks occurred around 6 p.m.
“They attacked police station, prison and bank, using gun and explosives but honestly I cannot say what the level of casualty is for now or whether prisoners were let loose,” the witness who preferred anonymity, said.
“I can confirm that there was a jailbreak in Ganye by some gunmen this evening. Explosives were used by the attackers to forcefully gain entrance into the prison,” Andrew Barka, head of the state prison service, told AFP.
“We still don’t know how many inmates were freed or if there were any casualties,” he said.
State police spokesman Mohammed Ibrahim confirmed that gunmen attacked the prison, a nearby police station, a tavern and a bank which he said was set on fire after they looted it.
“We have received signals on coordinated attacks by some unknown assailants in Ganye this evening. They launched simultaneous attacks on the prison, the divisional police office, a bank and an open-air tavern,” he said.
The gunmen used improvised explosive devices on their targets and fired assault rifles. He said that although details of the attacks were sketchy, troops and policemen have been deployed to the area.
A witness who escaped the attack on the tavern, Barnabas Haruna, said:
“The gunmen chanted Allahu Akbar (God is great) before they launched the attack on the tavern. There were explosions and gunshots. I ducked under a table, crawled and fled the scene,” he told AFP.
“I don’t know what happened to other people.”
A resident said that “the prison, the police station and nearby bank which were some metres away were attacked. Prison officials initially engaged them in a gun duel but the attackers overpowered them.”
“They emptied the bank vaults and set it on fire,” he said.
It is not known how much money the gunmen looted.
Ganye is located some 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the state capital, Yola.
The attack came barely two months after similar ones on police stations and prison in Maiha and Song local government areas of the state during which many people died.
It was not clear if the attacks were carried out by a criminal gang or militants of the Boko Haram, on the prowl in the state.