Uganda police hunting 200 inmates who escaped with weapons after prison shootout

KAMPALA (AFP) - A ground and aerial manhunt is under way in north-east Uganda where 200 inmates overpowered their guards and escaped with weapons after a shootout, the country's prison commissioner told AFP on Thursday (Sept 17).

The prisoners seized guns from the armoury at a government prison in Moroto, about 460km from Kampala, before dashing for the cover of nearby mountains, said commissioner Johnson Byabashaija of Wednesday's breakout.

"About 215 inmates are still on the run. Uganda's prison service, working with the police and the army with support from ground and air assets, have been deployed to rearrest the inmates," he said.

"One inmate was shot during the escape, three others were recaptured, but the rest are at large, having escaped towards Mount Moroto where our operation is focusing at the moment.

Some of the inmates had shed their bright yellow jumpsuits to avoid aerial detection and were on foot half-naked, prison spokesman Frank Baine said.

He said the jailbreak was "one of the rarest cases of its kind in the history of Uganda's Prison Service".

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