MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) -Corruption is blamed for fierce fighting that erupted in Mogadishu’s central prison late on Monday between Al-Shabaab inmates and Somalia’s custodial guards in which more than 10 people were and 8 others wounded. Police say a manhunt operation is currently underway to recapture prisoners at large.
The leader of Wadajir Opposition party Abdirahman Abdirashakur said the prison attack reflected widespread corruption in the inner dynamics of government’s security institutions.
“Peace and Prosperity party (Somalia’s ruling party) plotted last night’s prison attack in Mogadishu since there are Al-Shabaab moles serving its ranks.” said Abdirahman Abdishakur, Somalia’s Wadajir Party leader.
In addition, the party leader stressed that a daunting task is awaiting the country’s incoming prime minister to deal with well-placed Al-Shabaab moles serving top ranks at the National Intelligence Services and other government institutions.
Fierce fighting broke out inside Mogadishu’s central prison on Monday afternoon, after Al-Shabaab inmates who gained access to weapons launched an assault on guards, killing at least 5 prison guards.
Clashes between security forces sent as reinforcement to the prison and several Al-Shabaab inmates lasted for several hours before officials announced situation was “under control” midnight on Monday.
How did inmates get access to weapons?
It was a matter of controversy and contradicting statements were made by security officials on how Al-Shabaab prisoners were able to access weapons in a maximum security prison.
Intelligence and police officials told media that militants obtained weapons smuggled into the prison through weekly visits by family members and relatives. They said the weapons including grenades and pistols were hidden inside foods and other items received by inmates.
The national Custodial Corps chief Mahad Abdirahman Adan repudiated statements made other security institutions, saying an inmate forcefully took a gun from a guard and killed security guards whose guns were confiscated to launch an attack.
“Inmates who were designed to prepare food this afternoon, forcefully grabbed gun from a guard, killed him and went on to kill another guard, confiscating a second gun. Heavy casualties were recorded as fighting broke out inside (the jail).” said the Chief of the Custodial Corps who avoided to mention grenades and pistols used by prisoners.
After security forces restored order in the prison, a massive explosion was heard inside the compound of which officials said was controlled detonation of one of the grenades smuggled into the prison.
How many inmates escaped from prison?
As the fighting intensified inside the prison on Monday afternoon, officials said one Al-Shabaab inmate escaped. But reports suggest the number of escapees is likely higher than confirmed by the government. Security guards who survived the attack said at least 2 inmates are currently on the run.
A manhunt operation was underway in Mogadishu on Monday night after fighting progressed inside the prison. Security forces blocked roads leading to the prison and began a search for inmates on the run.
At least two prisoners are still at large with security forces coming to an abysmal failure in recapturing them.
For many, it was a mysterious prison break and for others, it was nothing unusual, but exposed the untrustworthiness of security institutions.
Other High-profile prison breaks in Mogadishu
Earlier this year, Jubaland’s security minister escaped in the most high-profile prison break in Somalia’s history. Janan was held for human rights violations perpetrated under his orders in Gedo region.
At least 4 Al-Shabaab inmates escaped Mogadishu’s central prison earlier this year in what authorities said was related to a tension over the dismissal of the jail’s commander for responsibility in the death of an inmate.
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At least 10 people were killed including 5 security guards and 4 inmates in Mogadishu prison attack after Al-Shabaab inmates launched an assault on security guards, Somalia‘s government officials have confirmed on Monday.
Reports say inmates obtained weapons and grenades smuggled into the prison before launching an attack targeting security guards. Officials say the weapons were hidden in foods and other items given to the prisoners when they receive weekly visits.
The attack took place in one of the sections of the prison where inmates serving long term sentences are held, before spreading to other parts of the jail.
Sources close to the commander of the prison said the inmates managed to gain access to weapons owned by security guards before launching the attack, repudiating statements made by security officials that weapons were smuggled to the base.
Somali police say they have restored order and security forces are now in control of the situation, hours after clashes erupted inside the prison.
According to local media, security forces shot dead four Al-Shabaab inmates, wounding two others. The clashes also left at least 5 security guards dead and 7 others wounded.
One of the inmates who launched the attack is said to have escaped the prison as clashes intensified on Monday afternoon. Security officials say a manhunt operation is underway to bring the escapee back to the jail.
It is not the first time inmates escape Mogadishu’s central prison, on the contrary, several Al-Shabaab prisoners managed to get away from the jail several months ago.
MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) –Al-Shabaab inmates have taken control of Mogadishu’s central prison following fierce fighting with security guards in which a number of people are said to have been killed, Somalia’s government officials have confirmed to media on Monday.
The fighting erupted on Monday afternoon after the inmates gained access to weapons and launched an offensive targeting prison guards.
An unspecified number of prison guards have been killed in ensuing gunfight which is still underway. Inmates are using grenades, pistols and rifles in the fierce exchange of gunfire with security forces –who are fighting to retake control of the prison.
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