17 killed in Papua New Guinea brazen jailbreak

Prisoners in Buimo jail in Lae            
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Prisoners in Buimo jail in Lae Show Grid

Local media reported than more than 70 prisoners attempted to escape from the Buimo prison, almost 320 km (200 miles) north of the capital Port Moresby, on Friday.

The bodies were being kept in a local hospital morgue, the Post-Courier newspaper reported. Eleven men were killed and 17 wounded in February a year ago when nearly 100 people stormed the gates.

The head of the Buimo prison has refused to comment to local media.

"Details of how the escape happened will be released by CS Management", chief superintendent Wagambie said.

'The majority of those who escaped were arrested for serious crimes and were in custody awaiting trial.

Many were serving time for armed robbery, auto thefts, and breaking and entering.

Amnesty International's Southeast Asia and Pacific director Champa Patel said: "It is alarming that the security forces' first response was to use lethal force against unarmed people without any concern for their right to life".

"This time we will do it again, so the escapees must surrender and not let us go after them". In 2015 more than 50 prisoners escaped from the same facility.

Local broadcaster EMTV said in January that Buimo, which was created to hold 400 prisoners, was holding 384 convicts and 476 detainees on remand.

Buimo: Prison guards have shot dead 17 inmates after a mass breakout at Buimo prison in Papua New Guinea. The incident sparked demands for an investigation into the South Pacific nation's overcrowded jails, particularly as Australia uses the country's Manus Island to hold asylum seekers. "Police anticipate an increase in serious crimes in the city".

"The country's prisons were created to accommodate 4,166 inmates, but as of October (2016) they held 4,945 inmates".

"The government mandated the Ombudsman Commission to visit prisons, but the commission lacked adequate resources to effectively monitor and investigate prison conditions", the report said.

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