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Sierra Leone under curfew as prisoners on the loose

World

6 months ago
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Sierra Leone has been placed under a nationwide curfew as armed men broke into a prison, setting inmates free.

Detainees from Central Padema Road prison in the capital city Freetown were released on Sunday morning, an official at the facility told BBC News.

Earlier on, the gunmen had attacked a military barracks in the city.

Residents reported hearing gunshots at the barracks, which are close to the presidential residence.

After the attack, the Ministry of Information declared an immediate curfew and "strongly" recommended people across the West African country stay indoors.

Below is a copy of the statement

Security Update and Nationwide Curfew Announcement

In the early hours of Sunday November 26th 2023, some unidentified individuals attempted to break into the military armory at Wilberforce barracks.

They have all been rebuffed.

The public is assured that the government and our state security forces are in control.

To enable the security forces to continue the process of apprehending the suspects, a nationwide curfew is declared with immediate effect across the country. We strongly advise citizens to stay indoors.

Please follow the official Ministry of Information and Civic Education channels and our official handles for accurate information and updates on the situation.

President Julius Maada Bio said calm has been restored and a manhunt launched to find all of the gunmen.

However, the BBC's Umaru Fofana, basedin Freetown, reports that there is still disorder in the city.

He drove past soldiers carrying heavy weaponry in a seized police vehicle, and saw others chanting that that they planned to "clean Sierra Leone".

In June, President Julius Maada Bio was re-elected after narrowly missing a run-off.

Two months later, a number of soldiers were arrested and accused of plotting a coup against the president.

A string of countries in West and Central Africa are under military rule after a series of coups, including neighbouring Guinea.

source: Graphiconline.com