World Bulletin/News Desk
Nigerian authorities asserted on Sunday that President Goodluck Jonathan was safe and unaffected by a "failed" jailbreak attempt from a security headquarters near his residence.
"President Jonathan is well and safe," presidential spokesman Reuben Abati confirmed on his Twitter handle. "Thank you for your concern and support."
The spokesman asserted that the attempted jailbreak from the headquarters of the Department of State Security in Abuja had nothing to do with Aso Rock, the seat of the presidency.
"What happened this morning was an attempted jailbreak which has been effectively foiled. No cause for alarm," said Abati.
He denied media reports that the jailbreak from the security police premises, known as Yellow House, was an attempt to attack President Jonathan or his villa, which is located some 100 meters away.
Earlier today, heavy shootings erupted in the security headquarters in what authorities described as a failed jailbreak by Boko Haram militants.
"What happened was that the suspects' handler went to feed the detainees here but suddenly they attacked him with their handcuffs, disarmed him and started shooting," secret police spokesperson Marilyn Ogar told the media.
"The military was quickly called in before they could do any harm and that is what is responsible for the shootings you heard," she added.
"It was an attempted jailbreak but it has been brought under control," insisted the spokesperson.
All access roads to the Aso Rock and the security headquarters had been blocked with armored personnel carriers.
Military helicopters were hovering overhead.
An official, who asked not to be named, told Anadolu Agency that no fewer than 20 suspects had scaled the fence of the security headquarters.
"Eighteen suspects were killed and some others were re-arrested," added the official.
"Two agents were also critically injured in the shootings. They have been taken to hospital," said the official.
Last Mod: 30 Mart 2014, 17:08