During a mass absconding at a jail in Papua New Guinea, 17 prisoners have been shot dead, said reports on Monday morning. Nearly 57 prisoners are still on the run. Prisoners from the Buimo jail in the Pacific nation’s second largest city Lae, rushed for freedom after breaking out of their compound on Friday. Soon, prison warders opened fire.
The National newspapers cited police as confirming 17 were killed. While three were caught, 57 were still at large. “These are undesirable people and will be a threat to the community,” Lae police said about the escapees. He also warned the public to be alert.
“The majority of those who escaped were arrested for serious crimes and were in custody awaiting trial.” “A good number were arrested by police last year for mainly armed robberies, car thefts, break and enter and stealing,” city police added.
This is the second such incident in a year. Last year, police shot dead 12 prisoners during a jailbreak in the same prison.
Delinquency and lawlessness in PNG are rampant. Officials urged family and links of the escapees not to harbour them. “I am warning them that they will be caught. They must do what is good for them and surrender,” an officer said.