17 shot dead in Pa­pua prison, 57 still on the run

New Straits Times - - World -

SYD­NEY: Seven­teen pris­on­ers have been shot dead af­ter a mass break­out at a jail in Pa­pua New Guinea, po­lice said yes­ter­day, with 57 still on the run.

In­mates from the Buimo jail in the Pa­cific na­tion’s sec­ond largest city of Lae made a dash for free­dom af­ter they broke out of their com­pound on Fri­day, with prison warders open­ing fire.

The Royal Pa­pua New Guinea Con­stab­u­lary said 17 were killed, three were caught and 57 were still at large.

“These are un­de­sir­able peo­ple and will be a threat to the com­mu­nity,” Lae po­lice metropoli­tan com­man­der Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent An­thony Wagam­bie Jr said of the es­capees, warn­ing the pub­lic to be vig­i­lant.

“The ma­jor­ity of those who es­caped were ar­rested for se­ri­ous crimes and were in cus­tody await­ing trial.

“A good num­ber were ar­rested by po­lice last year for mainly armed rob­beries, car thefts, break-and-en­ter and steal­ing.”

Po­lice shot dead 12 in­mates dur­ing a jail­break at the same prison last year.

In 2015 more than 50 pris­on­ers es­caped from the same fa­cil­ity.

Jails in Pa­pua New Guinea are of­ten over­crowded and con­di­tions are poor.

Wagam­bie said lo­cals in Lae should brace for a spate of crime.

“We ex­pe­ri­enced an up­surge of crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties when Buimo jail re­ported a mass break­out last year,” he said, urg­ing fam­ily mem­bers and as­so­ciates of the es­capees not to har­bour them.

“I am warn­ing them that they will be caught.

“They must do what is good for them and sur­ren­der.”

Crime and law­less­ness is ram­pant in Pa­pua New Guinea, a sprawl­ing na­tion where many still live tra­di­tional and sub­sis­tence lives in re­mote ar­eas. AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.