In­mates set Guyana prison ablaze

One of­fi­cer dead af­ter riot

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

GE­ORGE­TOWN: One prison of­fi­cer was killed and seven oth­ers were in­jured dur­ing a jail­break in South Amer­ica’s Guyana that saw in­mates set fire to the fa­cil­ity and four pris­on­ers es­cape, au­thor­i­ties said. Chaos broke out at the colo­nial-era max­i­mum se­cu­rity prison in the cap­i­tal city of Ge­orge­town af­ter in­mates ob­tained firearms and took con­trol of the fa­cil­ity, with po­lice and fire of­fi­cials ini­tially un­able to en­ter the com­pound. Pris­on­ers set the fa­cil­ity ablaze in an ef­fort to dis­tract guards, Public Se­cu­rity Min­is­ter Khem­raj Ram­jat­tan told jour­nal­ists, call­ing the es­capees “very se­ri­ous crim­i­nals.”

Eight po­lice of­fi­cers were in­jured, one of whom died dur­ing treat­ment for a gun­shot in­jury to his chest. Heav­ily armed sol­diers had taken up strate­gic po­si­tions around the fa­cil­ity in the for­mer Bri­tish colony, home to just over 750,000. Po­lice Com­mis­sioner See­lall Per­saud said au­thor­i­ties in neigh­bor­ing Suri­name were on high alert in the search for es­capee Roy­den Wil­liams, who was sen­tenced to death in Fe­bru­ary for killing eight peo­ple, and Uree Var­swyck, whose trial for rob­bery and mur­der was pend­ing. The iden­ti­ties of the other in­mates who fled were not im­me­di­ately known. Prison Chief Glad­win Sa­muels said there were no im­me­di­ate re­ports of in­juries or deaths among pris­on­ers. A num­ber of in­mates also caused havoc at a prison of­fi­cer’s club build­ing op­po­site the jail af­ter be­ing es­corted there, smash­ing bot­tles of al­co­hol that they poured onto cloth­ing be­fore ig­nit­ing it. Ram­jat­tan said more than 1,000 in­mates had been re­lo­cated to the yard of an­other prison com­pound. Some 300 of them would be trans­ferred to other fa­cil­i­ties, he said, as au­thor­i­ties fig­ure out where to hold the oth­ers.

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