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100 inmates escape after shells hit Ukraine prison

Over 100 inmates broke out of jail when shells rained down on a high-security prison in the besieged rebel stronghold of Donetsk in east Ukraine, killing one, local authorities said Monday.

Mortar blasts rocked the correctional facility in a western district of the city Sunday evening, hitting the living areas, administrative headquarters and an electrical substation.

The bombardment sparked a mass jail break that saw scores of detainees flee the prison.

“A riot started in the facility and 106 people escaped their place of detention,” the city council said in a statement, adding that three convicts were seriously wounded by the shelling.


The yard of the prison after the shelling. PHOTO: AFP

By Monday morning some had been returned to the facility, with a prison official telling AFP that 40 inmates were still missing and thought to be hiding in buildings around the prison.

An AFP correspondent at the scene found the prison gates open and rebel gunmen patrolling around.

A shell hole some 50 centimetres (20 inches) deep could be seen in the asphalt in a jail yard.

Inner city Donetsk has been pounded by heavy shelling over the past few days as Ukrainian forces have surrounded the city and vowed to retake the pro-Russian rebel bastion.

Over 1,300 have been killed and more than 285,000 people have fled their homes in the east due to fierce clashes in four months of what the Red Cross has already deemed a civil war.

Source: AFP

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