Monday, December 14, 2009

Islamists flee Philippines prison after militants' raid

A group of suspected Islamic militants have attacked a jail in the southern Philippines, freeing at least 31 prisoners, prison officials say.
Two people, including a prison guard, are believed to have been killed during a gunfight as the prisoners escaped.
Basilan island's Vice Governor Al Rasheed Sakalahul told the Associated Press the gunmen had wanted to free Muslim guerrillas held in the jail.
He said other inmates had also escaped during the attack early on Sunday.
Mr Sakalahul said about 30 gunmen had used sledgehammers to break through the jail's concrete perimeter wall before using bolt-cutters to cut through padlocks on cell doors.
One of the prison guards was killed and another injured during the ensuing clash, provincial police chief Abubakar Tulawie told Reuters news agency.
'High-risk prisoners'
Regional military commander Maj Gen Benjamin Dolorfino told AP the 31 who escaped included suspected members of a Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (Milf), and suspected militants from the Abu Sayyaf group.
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