Gunmen storm prison and free former Guinea dictator accused of massacre

He escaped alongside others during hours of heavy gunfire at the jail.

Gunmen storm prison and free former Guinea dictator accused of massacre
Guinea's military junta chief, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara speaks in Conakry on September 30, 2009. Former Guinean dictator Moussa Dadis Camara was taken out of prison on Saturday morning by a heavily armed commando in an operation that led to heavy exchanges of fire in central Conakry (Photo by SEYLLOU DIALLO / AFP) (Photo by SEYLLOU DIALLO/AFP via Getty Images)
Gunmen helped Moussa Dadis Camara, pictured in 2009, has escaped from prison (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

Gunmen have stormed a prison and freed a former Guinea dictator with suspected links to a devastating massacre.

Moussa ‘Dadis’ Camara escaped during hours of heavy gunfire at the main jail in Guinea’s capital of Conakry during the early hours of Saturday morning.

Justice minister Charles Alphonse Wright announced the closure of the West African nation’s borders soon after.

Camara, who briefly came to power in a 2008 coup, had been detained in connection with a stadium massacre in 2009.

He is one of several individuals charged in connection with the killings, which saw Guinean security forces fire upon peaceful demonstrators protesting against Camara’s plans to run for president after seizing power.

According to human rights groups, 157 protesters were killed. Camara denies any responsibility.

Among others who escaped the prison today are Claude Pivi and Blaise Goumou, also former high ranking officials charged in connection with the massacre.

FILE PHOTO: Guinea's former military junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara and other men accused of responsibility for the 2009 massacre and mass rape of pro-democracy protesters by forces linked to a former military junta sit during their trial in Conakry, Guinea September 28, 2022. REUTERS/Souleymane Camara/File Photo
Camara and other men charged in connection with a 2009 massacre of peaceful protesters at their trial in September 2022 (Picture: Reuters)

‘We will find them. And those responsible will be held accountable,’ he told local Radio Fim FM.

Camara had lived for several years in exile in Burkina Faso and Guinea’s government had tried to prevent his return for fear it could lead to political instability.

However, he returned in 2021 after another coup saw a military junta take power.

Two weeks ago, an urgent manhunt was launched in the UK for two prisoners who had broken out of jail.

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