A "large number" of gunmen have attacked a major police station in the Nigerian capital Abuja, killing two officers and enabling five detainees to escape, police officials say. The attack on the Special Anti-Robbery Squad headquarters occurred around 2 a.m. on Monday, with police claiming to have repelled the assailants and arrested two of them, Reuters reported. "Policemen on duty responded swiftly and engaged the gunmen in a gun battle that lasted for some minutes, at the end of which the gunmen were successfully repelled," police spokesman Frank Mba said. Mba also said that the attackers freed 30 prisoners but the police recaptured 25 of them, and noted that none of those who escaped were held on terrorism-related charges.
The latest assault on the nation's beleaguered security forces came only about 14 hours after a double bombing killed 11 people in a church inside a military barracks in Kaduna state, north of the capital.No group has claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack on the police station, but the authorities say Boko Haram militants are the prime suspects. The extremist group has claimed responsibility for a number of deadly gun and bomb attacks in various parts of Nigeria since 2009. Human rights groups report that violent actions by Boko Haram since mid-2009 have claimed about 1,500 lives, including over 760 this year alone. MN/HGL