Tuesday 20 March 2018

Madagascar prisoners escape in jail mob attack

Madagascar prisoners escape in jail mob attack
(AFP (eng) 12/15/17)

Some 120 prisoners broke out of jail in northeast Madagascar after a lynch mob stormed the prison in search of a murder suspect, the justice ministry said on Thursday.

"About 800 people entered Ikongo prison on Wednesday morning with the intention of killing a man who had been in custody for murder," spokesman Jeremy Napou said.

The mob overpowered guards and allowed 120 prisoners to break free "after they realised that the person they were looking for had already been moved to another facility," he said.

Five prison officers were taken hostage by the mob but later released.

The prisoners are still on the run and the prison governor and a magistrate involved in the detained suspect's murder case have gone into hiding.

Revenge attacks are common in Madagascar.

In 2013, a Frenchman, a Franco-Italian and a local man accused of killing a child on the tourist island of Nosy Be were burned alive by an angry crowd.

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