9 inmates on run after DRC jailbreak

2011-05-12 08:48

Kinshasa - Nine prisoners, among them soldiers facing the death penalty, are on the run in the Democratic Republic of Congo after escaping from a jail in the east of the country, an aid group said on Wednesday.

The inmates broke free from Kangbai prison in the Beni area of the Nord-Kivu province overnight on Monday.

"A total of 10 prisoners escaped, including five soldiers. One of the soldiers returned the following day, not knowing the area very well," said Gilbert Kambale, president of a group of non-governmental organisations in Beni.

Four of the escapees had been sentenced to death, he added.

Kangbai prison is designed to hold 350 inmates but the current figure is 604, of whom 212 are soldiers.

"Since the beginning of March the prison and the director's office have no longer had doors, having been torn off during an uprising by detained soldiers," Kambale said.

He said a search was underway for the prisoners still on the run.