Over 170 in­mates es­cape pri­son in Haiti

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

MORE than 170 in­mates of a north­ern Haitian pri­son have es­caped af­ter killing a guard and steal­ing firearms, ac­cord­ing to au­thor­i­ties en­gaged in a man­hunt with sup­port from UN peace­keep­ers.

Judge Henry Claude Louis-Jean said the jail break oc­curred on Satur­day in Arc­a­haie, a coastal town about 50km north of Haiti’s cap­i­tal Port-auPrince.

Po­lice in the Caribbean na­tion have set up check­points on roads lead­ing from the jail and de­tained sev­eral peo­ple without iden­tity cards.

How­ever, the 266 in­mates of Arc­a­haie pri­son do not wear uni­forms, mak­ing it eas­ier for the es­capees to hide from au­thor­i­ties.

Eleven in­mates were caught dur­ing the jail break, which hap­pened when some pris­on­ers were re­leased in to a rel­a­tively less se­cure area for bathing.

The in­mates broke into an area used by the guards, steal­ing at least five ri­fles among other weapons. One guard was shot to death. Camille Edouard Ju­nior, Haiti’s jus­tice min­is­ter, said one in­mate also died dur­ing the jail break af­ter fall­ing off a wall and hit­ting his head.

“One guard was killed dur­ing the in­ci­dent,” Edouard Ju­nior said.

“Three pris­on­ers were wounded, in­clud­ing one who died as a con­se­quence of his wounds.”

In the af­ter­math of the es­cape, videos cir­cu­lat­ing on­line showed the guard’s blood­ied body ly­ing on the floor sur­rounded by es­capees’ dis­carded san­dals.

The gov­ern­ment con­demned what it called a “mutiny pro­voked by heav­ily armed in­di­vid­u­als”, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment quoted by the news web­site Vant Bef.

Po­lice asked res­i­dents of the coastal area to fol­low au­thor­i­ties’ in­struc­tions as a man­hunt in­ten­si­fied. — AFP

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