20 Al-Shabaab inmates escape from prison in Somalia By ABDULKADIR KHALIF in Mogadishu | Monday, December 3   2012 at  19:49

A section of Al-Shabaab Militia in Somalia. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Some 20 members of radical Islamists Al-Shabaab group have reportedly escaped from a prison in Somalia's Baidoa town.

Baidoa is 240km southwest of Mogadishu.

The prison break reportedly happened at around midnight Sunday, getting into Monday.

Preliminary investigations by the jail officials revealed that the inmates escaped through a hole that was dug in the wall.

Reports also added that the escapees were serving different sentences, handed down by an Army Court.

“Some were sentenced to 12 years in prison for serious offences,” said an officer who was contacted by the media.

Some of the sentries on duty at the time of the escape were seized and were being questioned.

Meanwhile, three Mogadishu government ministers escaped an attack in Shalambood District, about 90km south of the capital.

The officials included the minister of National Security and Interior Affairs, Mr Abdikarim Hussein Guled, Defence minister Abdihakim Mohamoud Fiqi and Justice and Religious Affairs minister Abdullahi Abyan Nur.

The ministers were accompanied by four legislators and the commanders of the police, army and security agency.

“It was a hit-and-run, cowardly attack,” said Mr Fiqi upon reaching Marka Town, 110km south of Mogadishu.

He added that Al-Shabaab had been reduced to hit-and-run assaults and occasional explosions operatives.

With the help of troops serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom), the Somali Government regained many territories from the Al-Qaeda linked Islamist group.

However, the leaders of Al-Shabaab has reiterated that they had changed the war tactics, engaging in hit-and-run, explosions, assassinations and suicide missions.