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13 Prisoners Dig Tunnel to Escape Guyana Jail

  • VOA News

FILE - The remains of the Camp Street Prison, after it was destroyed by a fire during a riot, are seen in Georgetown, Guyana, July 10, 2017. Monday's jailbreak at Lusignan Prison is the latest in a series of security breaches in the South American country's penal system

Authorities in Guyana are hunting for 13 prisoners who escaped from custody, just weeks after another jailbreak.

Police in the South American country said the prisoners dug a tunnel disguised as a latrine under a high wall to escape Lusignan Prison, a minimum-security facility on the country's east coast.

Lusignan Prison was recently fortified, after hundreds of inmates were transferred there from Georgetown Prison, a maximum-security institution that burned down after inmates set a fire to protest prison conditions and lengthy trial delays. Seventeen convicts died in the fire last year, and most of the hundreds of others formerly held at Georgetown have since been transferred to other facilities.

A senior police official said the 13 men who broke out between Sunday night and Monday morning were "real bad ones" and former Georgetown inmates, and he urged members of the public to be cautious.

Four other prisoners who escaped from what remains of the Georgetown Prison also are still on the loose. Using handguns smuggled into the jail, they shot their way out more than two weeks ago, killing a guard in the process.

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