172 inmates escape Haiti prison, 2 dead
AT least 172 inmates escaped a Haitian prison near the capital Portau-Prince during an armed mutiny, killing one guard and many escaping with police weapons, local media reported.
Le Nouvelliste newspaper quoted Arcahaie prison manager Heurtelou Paul Colson as saying a guard was shot dead and two other police officers were wounded.
One prisoner climbed over a wall and fell to his death, while two other detainees were wounded and are in hospital.
The prison warden told Le Nouvelliste that Yvener Carelus, who was serving time for kidnapping, was the mastermind behind the escape. He was arrested.
“He planned the escape from the inside with a few accomplices. But he himself failed to get away,” Justice Minister Camille Edouard Junior told the newspaper, adding that security was being boosted at prisons across the country.
Human rights activist Pierre Esperance noted that the prison had housed “a lot of big-name prisoners, major criminals sentenced for theft, rape, kidnapping, drug trafficking and other serious crimes”.
Authorities have launched a manhunt for the escapees, with police checking all roads in the Arcadins coastal zone near Arcahaie prison.
“The government strongly condemns the incidents that took place at Arcahaie prison, targeted in a mutiny by heavily armed individuals,” the office of Interim Prime Minister Enex Jean-Charles, who also serves as defence minister, said in a statement.