17 inmates shot dead during prison breakout

James Marshall
May 15, 2017

Prison guards in Papua New Guinea have shot dead at least 17 prisoners who were attempting a jailbreak.

Prison warders in PNG' Buimo Prison shot dead 17 of the 77 inmates when they broke out of the Prison last Friday.

"A good number were arrested by police previous year for mainly armed robberies, auto thefts, break and enter and stealing", Lae's Metropolitan police superintendent Anthony Waigambe Jr said.

"Details of how the escape happened will be released by CS Management", chief superintendent Wagambie said.

Authorities have warned that the escaped inmates, some of them still awaiting trial, pose a serious threat to the safety of the area.

Wagambie urged family members and associates of the escapees not to harbour them.

Fifty prisoners were still on the run from the Buimo prison in the city of Lae on Papua New Guinea's north coast, police said on their official Facebook page, warning the public of a likely increase in carjackings and robberies. The incident sparked demands for an investigation into the South Pacific nation's overcrowded jails, particularly as Australia uses the country's Manus Island to hold asylum seekers.

It was the third mass breakout from Buimo in three years.

Last year, 12 prisoners were shot dead and 18 were injured when 94 people escaped the prison. A local broadcaster reported in January that Buimo, which was created to hold 400 prisoners, was holding 384 convicts and 476 detainees on remand.

The report cites claims some pre-trial detainees who escaped in February last year had been waiting up to nine years to face trial.

In February this year, prisoners at the Baisu jail in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands Province, went without food for at least five days because of non-payment of bills by Correctional Services.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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