World

Ten at large after jail break in the Philippines

MANILA Three inmates were shot dead and another wounded after escaping from jail on a southern Philippine island that is the stronghold of Islamist militants.

The casualties were among 14 prisoners who escaped from a police station jail in war-torn Jolo, the authorities said.

Jolo is a base of the Abu Sayyaf kidnap-for-ransom group and some of the inmates were linked to them, 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," he told AFP.

The injured inmate was recaptured while soldiers and policemen were chasing the remaining 10 escapees.

The jail had a total of 32 inmates mostly facing drug charges, Senior Supt Buyuccan added.

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 escaped a prison in the southern Philippines in January after about a hundred gunmen stormed the facility.

In May, Islamist militants waving black flags of ISIS went on a rampage in the southern city of Marawi and freed 100 inmates from two jails there. - AFP

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