Prisoners freed by Irma recaptured
More than 100 prisoners have been captured after escaping from a jail on the British Virgin Islands following Hurricane Irma.
The governor of the islands said the prisoners of Balsam Ghut prison, in Tortola, had been captured on Thursday.
It followed an operation by British Virgin Island and Cayman Island police officers, alongside the British Royal Marines and police.
Gus Jaspert, the governor of the British Virgin Islands, said: “The government of the British Virgin Islands is extremely grateful to the police and military personnel for their tireless efforts, which have resulted in a thorough and extremely successful operation.
“I extend our gratitude to the UK and Cayman Island governments for their provision of personnel. This signals a huge step in all of our efforts to rebuild this fantastic territory.”
The news comes after British Virgin Islanders said they were “terrified” of the prisoners, who escaped because of the damage caused by Irma.
They said looting had been “terrible” and claimed escaped prisoners had committed a rape while on the loose.
Foreign minister Sir Alan Duncan said on Tuesday that the convicts posed a “serious threat of the complete breakdown of law and order”. About 240,000 children have fled Myanmar’s Rakhine state into neighbouring Bangladesh over the last three weeks, according to a UN agency.
The figure – amounting to 60% of an estimated 391,000 Rohingya refugees – includes about 36,000 children under a year old, said Unicef spokeswoman Marixie Mercado.
Ms Mercado said the figures include about 1,100 unaccompanied minors who crossed over the past week.
She spoke at a regular briefing in Geneva that included comments from many UN agencies addressing the crisis in Bangladesh.
Ms Mercado said: “As everybody here is going to tell you, the needs are seemingly endless and the suffering is deepening.”
A Rohingya insurgent group attacked police posts in Rakhine on August 25, and the miltary of Myanmar – also known as Burma – responded with “clearance operations”.
Fleeing Rohingya say security forces shot indiscriminately.