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More prisoners escape in Madagascar
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21:11, January 06, 2009

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In a serious of escapes from prisons in the Indian Ocean island country of Madagascar, seven prisoners run away from prison Monday afternoon in Toamasina, a coastal port city 370 km northeast of the capital, while 11 others escaped from that of Betroka, a town 720 km south of the capital city.

Security of the Toamasina prison was declared broken around 17:00 p.m. (1400 GMT) on Monday while the prisoners in Betroka run away at midnight on the same day, media here reported on Tuesday.

The prisoners in Toamasina removed the blocks inside the prison and climbed up over the wall.

Under the cover of midnight rain, a power blackout and the lack of security guards, prisoners in Betroka broke the bar fence and fled.

No escapee was recaptured till now and there were now at least32 escaped criminals at large since last Sunday, when 22 prisoners escaped from a prison near the capital city, with one shot dead and 7 others injured.

Latest statistics issued by the prison administration showed that 17,403 prisoners were now locked up in 82 prisons in Madagascar. The capacity of these prisons, which had not been renewed since their construction during the colonial years from 1896 to 1960, was only 10,229.

Source: Xinhua

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