Nearly 200 dangerous criminals have escaped from a prison in Haiti after seizing weapons from guards.
174 inmates overpowered guards at a prison in Arcahaie, a coastal town about 30 miles north of Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince, last night.
The inmates stole weapons from guards and were involved in a firefight with police where one officer was shot and killed, The Daily Star reports.
UN troops have now been called in to help recapture prisoners and one local described seeing dozens of vehicles carrying heavily armed UN and Haitian forces around the area.
The inmates are reported to have begun their violent break out after being released from a holding pen to take a bath, breaking into an area used by the guards, stealing at least five rifles among other weapons.
One prisoner was killed in the escape and eleven were recaptured while the rest escaped.
Police in the area have responded by setting up checkpoints on roads leading from the prison while the government have warned citizens to be vigilant.
The inmates weren’t wearing uniforms which could make identifying the escapees difficult for police.
Enex Jean-Charles Haiti’s prime minister told security services they must take ‘all necessary measures’ to control the situation and special police units have been deployed to secure the area.
Last night the Haiti government tweeted:
The government condemns in the strongest terms the incidents at Arcahaie civil prison, which was targeted on Saturday by a mutiny.
Meanwhile the American embassy has warned its citizens to avoid the area after a ‘violent’ prison break.