File photo: Gun

Nigeria’s Interior Minister has ordered prison guards across the country to shoot and kill anyone who attempts a jailbreak.

Over the last year, armed groups have attacked various correctional facilities, enabling more than 5,000 inmates to escape.

A number of prison guards and detainees have also been killed.

During a visit to the southern city of Ibadan, Rauf Aregbesola told prison staff that they should not shoot to injure but should instead shoot to kill.

Rights activists have expressed concern that the new policy may be abused by the security forces.

Nigeria’s extremely slow judicial system means that about three quarters of almost 70,000 inmates are awaiting trial.

The Interior Minister said this was partly responsible for the frequent jailbreaks.