At least 219 inmates escaped from a prison in Moroto, northeastern Uganda, bringing the local town to a standstill as authorities attempted to track them down, local media reported on Thursday.
The media reports indicate that the inmates took off their distinctive yellow uniforms and fled naked into the hills to avoid detection at about 4:30 pm on Wednesday.
The prisoners are said to have grabbed guns from prison warders before they escaped and ran towards Mt Moroto.
Uganda Prisons Commissioner General Johnson Byabashaija told the press that the escapees overpowered the warders before accessing the armory that had about 15 rifles.
At least one Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) soldier was reportedly shot dead in a fire exchange with the inmates.
“They are on the loose now. Heavy exchange of fire ensued. They have run towards Mt Moroto,” said Byabashaija.
BBC reports that two inmates have been captured and two killed.
UPDF spokesperson, Brig Gen Flavia Byekwaso urged members of the public to stay calm as the security forces pursue the escapees.
“The operation by UPDF in pursuit of escapees from singila prison in moroto to re arrest them and recover the stolen guns continues.the population therefore is advised to stay calm,” Byekwaso tweeted on Wednesday night.
The operation by UPDF in pursuit of escapees from singila prison in moroto to re arrest them and recover the stolen guns continues.the population therefore is advised to stay calm. pic.twitter.com/eUu6KpH6x9
— Brig Gen Flavia Byekwaso (@UPDFspokespersn) September 16, 2020
In March this year, three prisoners were shot dead and six others injured as they tried to escape from Arua government prisons.