Prisoners escape from Jolo detention cell
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Fourteen prisoners escaped from their detention cell at the Jolo municipal police station early Sunday, July 16, with one recaptured and 3 killed during pursuit operations.
Police said the incident occurred at around 1:25 am in Jolo, Sulu. Of the 38 detainees held at the municipal police station, 14 prisoners were able to escape.
The chief of police and duty personnel of the station were able to prevent other prisoners from escaping as they pursued the 14 prisoners.
While on pursuit, 3 detainees were killed and one was injured, while 10 others escaped.
Jolo is a base of the Abu Sayyaf kidnap-for-ransom group and some of the inmates were linked to the militants, according to provincial police chief Senior Superintendent Mario Buyuccan.
"They cut the bars of the jail and jumped from the second floor to the roof of the municipal hall building next door. Our troops responded and the inmates were killed and wounded in hot pursuit operations," Buyuccan told Agence France-Presse.
"Some inmates are associated with the membership of the Abu Sayyaf."
Investigation and hot pursuit is currently ongoing.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines has also extended assistance by using K9 units and drones to track the escaped detainees.
The Philippines frequently has mass escapes from prisons which are usually overcrowded, poorly maintained and inadequately guarded.
In the country's biggest jailbreak, more than 150 inmates ecaped a prison in the southern Philippines in January after about a hundred gunmen stormed the facility.
In May, Islamist militants waving black flags of the Islamic State (ISIS) group went on a rampage in the southern city of Marawi and freed 100 inmates from two jails there.
The incident triggered an ongoing US-backed military offensive involving air strikes and artillery barrages to flush out the militants.
Buyuccan said there was no connection between Sunday's jailbreak and the fighting in Marawi, which had killed more than 500 people. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com