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The Mozambican Penitentiary Services Directorate said that authorities had information of a plan for a mass evasion in the prison where three prisoners were shot dead in a riot on Tuesday.
“This situation occurred following information the prison received according to which a group of detainees was preparing a mass evasion,” said Jeremias Cumbe, national director of Penitentiary Services (SERNAP), quoted today by O País.
In addition to the three inmates who were shot dead during the riots, seven people were seriously injured.
The clashes began after a prison guard discharged a tear gas grenade during a routine search in one of the cell blocks, causing a violent reaction from the prisoners.
According to Jeremias Cumbe, prison guards found mobile phones and saw blades in the cells.
“It is not yet known how these mobile phones came to be in the cells,” the national director of Penitentiary Services said.
The prisoners set fire to offices and the jail’s health clinic, requiring the intervention of firefighters to extinguish the flames.
Prison guards and the Rapid Intervention Police (UIR) regained control of the situation about an hour after the clashes began.
The Provincial Public Prosecutor’s Office will open an inquiry into the incident at the prison in Nampula province, which houses more than 1,700 inmates.Source: Lusa