Officials of the Sierra Leone government have disclosed that nearly 2,000 inmates escaped during Sunday’s attack on a military barracks, a prison and other locations in the country.
The Acting Director-General of the Sierra Leone Correctional Service, Colonel Shek Suleiman Masakui, said the attack lasted two hours.
According to a situation report that prison officials shared with Reuters on Monday, some 1,890 inmates escaped from the Pademba Road central prison after the attackers broke in.
Recall that the assailants had sent the West African country into a panic in the early hours when gunfire was sent ringing across the capital, Freetown.
The government blamed “renegade soldiers” that it said had been repelled.
The police, in a statement on Monday, urged inmates to return to prison, offering the public rewards for details on the whereabouts of escapees or the attackers.
Meanwhile, the United States government and the Economic Community of West African States condemned the military breach.
In a tweet on Sunday, the US Embassy in Sierra Leone expressed strong disapproval of the jailbreak as it called for cooperation with government security forces.
The United States said it affirmed its support for “a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous Sierra Leone.”