Ugandan forces have launched a manhunt to recapture more than 200 prisoners who escaped jail after stealing weapons and fled into a remote wilderness area in the country’s northeast. At least three people – a soldier and two of the 219 escapees – died in a gun battle and two inmates were rearrested. The jailbreak occurred on Wednesday afternoon near the army barracks in the district of Moroto in northeast Uganda, officials say the group overpowered the warden who was on duty. Before fleeing, they broke into the prison armoury and stole 15 AK-47 rifles, 20 magazines and other ammunition. The prisoners took off their clothes to avoid being spotted in their distinctive yellow uniforms and ran into the foothills of Mount Moroto. This is Uganda’s third prisoner escape since the outbreak of the new coronavirus in March amid fears of contracting COVID-19 in cramped jails. The total number of inmates in Uganda rose 10 percent to 65,000 in the five months to August, according to the prisons service, a surge attributed to a large number of people apprehended for violations of various anti-coronavirus measures such as curfews and travel restrictions.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA