Authorities in Uganda have launched a manhunt to recapture more than 200 prisoners who escaped from jail after stealing weapons and fled to the north-eastern part of the country.

The jailbreak occurred on Wednesday afternoon, September 16, near the army barracks in the district of Moroto in northeast Uganda.

The country’s prison commissioner, Johnson Byabashaija told AFP on Thursday September 16, that the inmates overpowered their guards and escaped with weapons in after a shootout.

“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 the commissioner.

Uganda police launch manhunt for 215 escaped prisoners after jailbreak

“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.

“There is concern that some guns are in the wrong hands, but these will be recaptured. We have enough forces on the ground and helicopters to track them. The public is advised to stay calm,” said Byabashaija.

“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 added

Mr.Baine described the jailbreak as “one of the rarest cases of its kind in the history of Uganda’s Prison Service”.

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