ARU TOWN, Democratic Republic of the Congo (AA) – Police in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are hunting 33 high-risk inmates who escaped from prison on Sunday.
Deputy police chief Francis Mbweyo told Anadolu Agency most of those who broke free from Boende prison in Tshuapa province, 711 kilometers (440 miles) from the capital Kinshasha, had committed serious crimes including murder and rape.
Boende prison warden Mose Kale said out of 35 inmates on the facility’s A-block, only two remained.
The escapees are thought to have dug a tunnel amid heavy rain, breaching the perimeter wall.
Among them is one inmate linked to the murder of an accountant who worked for the Catholic charity Caritas on Aug. 11 this year.
Caritas’s administrator in Boende, Jean-Pierre Nkombe, told Anadolu Agency he was shocked about the escape because the group contained one inmate, suspected of murdering his colleague.
Nkombe said: “I believe those inmates who escaped have friends who helped them to escape. There are those they worked with in robbery [sic] and killings who must have made sure that their friends escape in order to kill evidence.”
Residents of Boende told Anadolu Agency they now lived in fear of the escapees committing further atrocities.
Jailbreaks in Congo are common due to prison overcrowding. On Jan. 8 this year, 50 prisoners broke out from Kamituga prison.
On June 5, 2014 around 300 inmates escaped from Bukavu prison but the country’s biggest jailbreak took place on Sep. 7, 2011 when 1,000 suspects broke out of Kassapa prison in Katanga province.
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