Not less than 2,000 inmates escaped on Monday morning in Owerri, the Imo State capital when suspected hoodlums attacked the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS) Facilty in Oweri Imo State.

The gunmen also attacked the nearby office of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) of the state Police command, also freed about 600 suspects in custody.

They set the Police headquarters ablaze with dozens of vehicles burnt in the process, the attackers were said to have had a free rein during the operation that lasted about two hours and said to have started between 1 am and 3:30am on Monday.

According to report gathered, the gunmen operated in over 10 vehicles, and also attacked soldiers stationed at Umuorji along Owerri.

The gunmen caused panic in the town as explosions were heard around the state police command headquarters and the NCC facility in Owerri.

There was a jailbreak at the Owerri Correctional Centre around 4am after the gunmen struck. Soldiers have been called into secure the facility but several inmates have escaped a source reported.

“Gunmen suspected to be members of Eastern Security Network were the ones who attacked the Imo State prison and set prisoners free before extending their onslaught to the police headquarters, Owerri and setting some sections ablaze. It happened around 1:40am and lasted for one or two hours at the heart of town,”

Another security official said  the attackers were alleged to be operatives of the Eastern Security Network set up by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra but this has not been established yet.

It was also gathered that the gunmen sacked police officers on duty, freed suspects, invaded the facility’s arms storage department before setting it ablaze. Four policemen allegedly sustained gunshot injuries from the invaders.

It was also stated that the culprits did not flee immediately but stayed by and supervised the burning of the police facility.

When contacted, the police spokesperson in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed the attacks.

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