More than 1,300 inmates have escaped from a prison in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo after an attack by rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces, the mayor said Tuesday.
The escape from the central prison in Beni comes three days after another attack on the Kangbayi prison, in which about 100 inmates had fled and dozens were killed.
Mayor Modeste Bakwanamaha said that one inmate had died during the latest attack but called on Beni’s citizens to report anyone they suspect as being escapees.
“We had a count before the escape of 1,456 (prisoners), 110 of them stayed and I thank them for that. Some 20 (escapees) have already returned and I know that others are on their way back. We’ll do a tally, and work out how many have come back.
“Those that came back say that they were taken by force, they say they had to escape from their abductors, the ADF (Allied Democratic Forces) and those that came back are mostly our troops who chose to come back and not live as enemies in the bush,” he said.
News of the jailbreak in Kangbayi angered locals, who feared the mass release could further exacerbate violence in the area. The Allied Democratic Forces rebel group originated in Uganda and has long been a threat in eastern Congo.
The Islamic State group recently claimed some attacks carried out by ADF rebels but the exact relationship between the two groups is not entirely clear.