Mozambican jail: 17 inmates escape

2010-10-13 12:50

Maputo - Officials say prisoners serving long jail terms have escaped from a prison in northern Mozambique.

A Justice Ministry statement on Wednesday says the prisoners cut the bars at Nampula Industrial Penitentiary before escaping on Tuesday night. The ministry says the prisoners were among 99 inmates recently transferred to Nampula from neighbouring provinces.

Police say the escaped convicts were serving varying sentences for crimes including homicide, theft, armed robbery and fraud. They say the community helped them find and arrest one fugitive.

Authorities say they have not ruled out prison guards' complicity in the mass escapes.

The police in Nampula say attempts are under way to recapture the remaining 16.