Attempted Coup D’etat: Inmates Released As Gunmen Attack Prison In Sierra Leone
Armed men have broken into a prison in Sierra Leone, setting many inmates free.
BBC reports that the gunmen hit the Central Pademba Road prison in the wee hours of Sunday in Freetown, the nation’s capital city.
It is unclear how many inmates are on the run but the prison reportedly held more than 2,000 people in 2019.
The incident occurred about the same time Wilberforce barracks, which houses several foreign embassies, including those of China, Germany, Austria, Gambia, Lebanon and Syria, was attacked, prompting a nationwide curfew.
After the attacks on the barracks, Chernor Bah, the country’s minister of information and civic education, said the nation’s security forces were able to curtail the situation before it spiralled into a monumental crisis.
“They have all been rebuffed,” Bah had said.
“The public is assured that the government and our state security forces are in control.”
Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio said a manhunt for the gunmen has been launched.
However, the broadcaster said there is still some disorder in Freetown.
The report added that soldiers were seen bearing heavy weaponry in a seized police vehicle, while others vowed that they planned to “clean Sierra Leone”.
The political scenario in Sierra Leone has been uncertain since June, after President Bio was re-elected. The poll had narrowly missed going into a run-off.
International observers said the vote was marred by inconsistencies, violence, intimidation and a lack of transparency.
In August, some soldiers were arrested and accused of plotting a coup against Bio.
Eight countries in West and Central Africa are currently under military rule following a series of coups.
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