Updated: Police confirms losing two officers in SARS Abuja attack

Nigerian Police

The police said it arrested two of the attackers.

The police have confirmed that two of its officers were killed in the daring attack on its special holding cell in Abuja on Monday.

The force said in a statement that 30 suspects escaped detention while 25 were recaptured. Five detainees remain at large, the police added.

“Tactical and coordinated efforts to re-arrest the fleeing suspects yielded instant result,” force spokesperson, Frank Mba, who read the statement to journalists, Monday afternoon, said.

Mr. Mba said two police officers were killed while two of the attackers were arrested. He did not give further details.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has visited the scene of the incident and investigations are underway, the statement added.

The attackers, believed to be members of the radical sect, Boko Haram, struck early Monday at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, headquarters where high profile criminals are held.

The assault, which started at about 2a.m., lasted only few minutes having been “successfully repelled” by police personnel on duty, Mr. Mba said.

But that has been disputed by residents of the area who said the raid lasted hours with a prolonged exchange of gunfire between the police and the attackers.

Roads leading to the SARS office within the city centre were immediately cordoned after the attacks.

Coming less than 24 hours after a brazen suicide bomb explosion on a military church in Kaduna State, the attack raised immediate concerns about the capacity of the nation’s security to deal with growing militancy and their alertness to foil assaults on their installations.

Last week, security forces declared the leaders of the Boko Haram sect wanted, placing a bounty on them.

Several key members of the group are said to be held at the SARS office and the Monday attack was an attempt by their colleagues to free them.

Mr. Mba denied terror-related suspects were amongst those that escaped. He also said no explosive materials were used in the failed attack.

A man, who claimed to be a senior member of the sect, told PREMIUM TIMES, on Monday that “we (the group) have put our house in order and Nigerians have not seen anything yet

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