Sunday, November 27

An attack on a prison in the Congo leaves three dead and 770 prisoners escaped

Three people, two of them policemen and a militiaman, have died and 774 inmates have fled after the attack by an armed group last morning against a jail in northeast Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as confirmed on Wednesday by society activists and Congolese Army sources.

The attack was committed in the prison of Kakwangurain the city of Butembo (province of North Kivu) by a group Mai Maia name that encompasses dozens of armed militias operating in the area for decades, made up of peasants and other armed civilians to defend themselves from other rebels and even from the Congolese army itself.

“It was at 2 in the morning when the attackers (…) managed to enter the town of Butembo and, precisely, the Kakwanga prison. They took 774 prisoners“, has explained Pasteur Saanane Mathe, president of the urban coordination of civil society in Butembo. “They destroyed and burned the area reserved for prisoners and escorted all the prisoners to Isale, near Virunga Park”, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Mathe said, stressing that the attack caused panic in the city.

exchange of shots

“People He is afraid but the Army is already informed and that reassures. We only regret that these assailants who came to liberate their They killed our two policemen who were on guard. There was one death among the militiamen during the exchange of fire between our forces and the rebels,” he added.

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Army spokesman, Anthony Mwalushai, has confirmed the event but has refrained from providing details. “Yes, the prison was attacked last night, but it is not yet time to talk to journalists,” he has limited himself to saying.

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Since 1998, eastern DRC has been mired in conflict fueled by rebel militias and attacks by Army soldiersdespite the presence of the UN mission (Monusco), with more than 14,000 troops deployed.

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