Malawi police and prison authorities on Tuesday launched a manhunt on four prisoners, who escaped at Zomba Central Prison amid a protest.

Initially, there were seven escapees, but three have since been re-arrested.

The prisoners staged a protest after President Joyce Banda pardoned 377 prisoners across the country during the commemoration of the 48th independence anniversary celebrations.

It is said the inmates were annoyed with the release of two prisoners on Sunday, whose names were allegedly not on the presidential pardon list, but were serving sentences of manslaughter and rape respectively.

Unofficial reports say two prisoners have since died following the fracas yesterday, while 20 others have sustained injuries.

Thirty four prisoners were pardoned from Zomba maximum prison, according to prison authorities.

President Banda deleted names of 11 convicts, who she said do not deserve the pardon because they defiled children.

The ruling party‚Äôs publicity secretary Steven Mwenye told the Nation newspaper that ‚Äúthe President is not to blame arguing that the Prison authorities should have carefully scrutinized the list first.‚ÄĚ

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