Members of the Islamist radical outfit Boko Haram stormed a prison in Nigeria's Yobe state on Sunday, freeing 40 inmates in the latest of such incidents blamed on the group.
"There was an attack on the Yobe prison this morning, the Boko Haram sect attacked the prison through the Emir palace, 40 inmates escaped," Yobe State Police Commissioner Patrick Egbuniwe was quoted in reports as saying.
He said the police and the joint task force confronted the militants and two of them were shot dead in the encounter in which some policemen were also injured.
Gun battles between Boko Haram members and security forces in Yobe's capital Damaturu had killed 40 people last week. The outlaws had been blamed for several prison attacks in the past. Attacks on churches have also intensified this month, sparking deadly religious violence in Nigeria's northern Kaduna State.
The group, which is based in the remote northeast, has rapidly overtaken rebels in the oil-producing southern Niger Delta as the country's biggest security threat. It is fighting to carve out an Islamic State in Nigeria - a country nearly evenly split between Muslims and Christians.
President Goodluck Jonathan said Boko Haram was seeking to incite a religious crisis by attacking churches in an attempt to destabilize his government.
by RTT Staff Writer
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