MOGADISHU - Residents of Somali capital were on Monday shocked to hear that three convicted high profile al-Shabaab inmates escaped Mogadishu Central Prison two days after suspected militants detonated a truck bomb killing more than 80 in Mogadishu.
Senior security officials confirmed that three inmates broke their cells and sneaked out of the heavily fortified prison with the aid of guards.
According to the sources, the three convicted terrorists were arrested from various times. One of them was later re-arrested within the city but the two others are at large creating panic in the capital.
"One of the two missing had been serving 15 years in jail while the other one was sentenced a life term. This is very shocking,” said a senior officer who asked anonymity as he was not allowed to speak to the media.
Late on Monday as the news of militants’ escape from the prison spread, security forces arrested several officers of the custodial corps for suspicion of facilitating the plot that led militants to escape.
"We are currently probing as to what happened and how these dangerous prisoners managed to escape,” the source added.
Top officials of Somali Police Force did not respond to calls seeking further information. Horn Observer journalist in Mogadishu reported that heavy police presence was noticed around the Mogadishu Central Prison which is adjacent to the Mogadishu Seaport late on Monday.
On Saturday a truck bomb targeted a security checkpoint at a busy intersection Ex-Control Afgoye in Mogadishu and killed 83 and injured 149— the deadliest attack in the country in more than two years. Among the victims were parents going to work, students heading to university, foreign engineers building roads, and shop owners.
Despite no group claimed for the responsibility of the attack, al-Shabaab remains to be prime suspect.