Palpable fear has gripped Delta State following the invasion of Warri this morning by gunmen who killed at least seven officials of the Nigeria Prisons Service.
It was gathered that the bloody incident took place when the vehicles in which the prison warders were conveying some of the prison inmates to court was attacked at the Okere Roundabout in Warri.
Sources said that four of the prisons officials were killed on the spot when the gunmen suddenly opened fire on their vehicle. Three other officials were said to be lying critically hurt in an undisclosed hospital in the area following gunshot wounds they received during their gun battle with the attackers.
The armed gang were said to have operated with two vehicles which they parked at the ever-busy roundabout unknown to the prison officials.
Police authorities, confirming the report, said that the gunmen laid an ambush for the court-bound van.
The Okere Roundabout, which is normally busy with human and vehicular traffic, is situated about 200 meters from the Warri Prison in the heart of the oil-rich city of Warri, the administrative headquarters of Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.
According to Mr. Rabiu, three other prison officials who were shot were being treated in an undisclosed hospital. He further stated that three of the prison inmates who fled with the attackers after the encounter had been re-arrested by the police and handed over to the Prisons Department in Warri.
Saharareporters learnt that the sporadic shooting during the attack created panic and had people running for dear life.
We have been able to get exclusive pictures of the mayhem that happenned in warri
We have just learned that a prison warden known as Mr Oche has passed on. Mr Oche was the driver of the van that was attacked in warri.
Mr Oche brings the number of casualties to six according to our sources
The latest victim had been taken to warri central hospital for treatment but doctors could not save him as he died earlier today
Nine detainees awaiting trial escaped from the prison vehicle in the moment of attack. However by this morning the police in delta state said they have recaptured two of the escapees.
In addition a police source said one of the escaped inmates was killed in a shoot out while a fourth one had been delivered to the police by his pastor
Five of the suspects remain at large and they are all armed and dangerous