More than one dozen inmates break out of Sagaing jail, five allegedly recaptured

One of 14 inmates who broke out of the jail at the central police station in Sagaing Region’s Hkamti township was killed during interrogation on Tuesday morning after five of the escapees were apprehended.

The man was identified as 25-year-old Ah Pon from Sezin village in Hpakant Township—located in Kachin State, but bordering Sagaing—according to a leaked police report. He had been detained at the jail on drug-related charges in addition to alleged violations of import and export rules, the report said. It claimed that he died from an unidentified illness.

Details of the other four others who were re-arrested were not known at the time of reporting.

“They broke out of the jail and stole a gun from the police. The military has been searching the places where they suspect they could be hiding,” a Hkamti resident said later on Tuesday.

Junta personnel blocked the entrances and exits to the township and set up checkpoints to search and question passersby, another local said.

While several political prisoners are being held in the jail in question, the identities of the remaining escapees were not known at the time of reporting. 

They reportedly broke out of the facility by scraping through iron bars in the jail bathroom, before beating up a police private on duty outside and seizing his weapon. 

According to pro-junta Telegram channels, five of the inmates were re-arrested later that morning. 

The military council has not released a statement on the incident. 

Two prisoners, members of a local anti-junta People’s Defence Force (PDF), were rescued after resistance forces carried out an ambush on a van transporting detainees from Kyaukse to Obo Prison in Mandalay on September 29. Others who attempted to flee during the attack were recaptured by police.

In mid-September, three activists and two PDF members also managed to escape from a prison in Magway Region’s Pakokku Township. A prison source told Myanmar Now that they broke out by cutting through the bars of their cells and using blankets and longyis as a rope to scale the high prison wall.

That jailbreak marked the first time since last year’s coup that prisoners had succeeded in liberating themselves from junta custody.

In June, resistance forces overran a police station in southern Myawaddy Township in Karen State, rescuing PDF fighters who had been detained there for more than 100 days.

There have also been reports in Sagaing Region of PDF groups freeing civilians held hostage by regime forces.

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