Mozambique prison break springs 17 inmates

Prison officers ruled out as possible accomplices

MAPUTO, Mozambique — Officials say prisoners serving long jail terms have escaped from a prison in northern Mozambique.

A Justice Ministry statement Wednesday says the prisoners cut the bars at Nampula Industrial Penitentiary before escaping Tuesday night. The ministry says the prisoners were among 99 inmates recently transferred to Nampula from neighboring provinces.

Police say the escaped convicts were serving varying sentences for crimes including homicide, theft, armed robbery and fraud. They say the community helped them find and arrest one fugitive.

Authorities say they have not ruled out prison guards' complicity in the mass escapes.

The police in Nampula say attempts are under way to recapture the remaining 16.



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