An unknown number of prisoners escaped from the Kangwangura central prison in Butembo town, North Kivu of the Democratic Republic of Congo, following an attack on the prison last night by Mai-Mai rebel movement combatants.
The Mai-Mai faction that carried out the attack has not yet been identified. However, locals say the attack started at 2 a.m. on Wednesday, August 10, 2022.
“We heard gunshots around 2 a.m. this morning, and when we woke up, we learnt there had been an evasion by tens of prisoners from the prison after an attack on the prison by armed men”, a civil society activist who did not want to be identified told HumAngle in Butembo.
The DR Congo national army, FARDC, has confirmed the attack and a message by the spokesperson of Operations Sokola 1, Captain Anthony Mwalushayi, states that “some detainees escaped” without specifying the exact number.
According to Captain Mwalushayi, the militias killed two police officers guarding the prison and burnt down a cell for female detainees before the arrival of soldiers.
One militiaman was killed, and his weapon seized, the army spokesperson said, adding that three of the escaped prisoners had already been recaptured and returned to the prison.
The Kakwangura prison near the Council Chambers has been housing over six hundred prisoners though it was built to contain 120 detainees.
While waiting for an official statement concerning the incident, speculations are rife that the number of prisoners who escaped could be above one hundred.
Today’s evasion is not the first escape from Kakwangura prison, as rebels have invaded the prison and set several prisoners free in the past.
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