One prisoner killed, several hurt in attempt to escape from UN jail in DR of Congo

28 February 2005

One prisoner was killed and four others injured when a United Nations peacekeeping sentinel opened fire during an attempted escape by militia members from a makeshift jail in northeast Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) late last week, the UN mission in the country said today.

The 15 prisoners were seized Thursday in Datule village and because there was no more space in Ndromo prison they were placed in an office which some of the military peacekeepers used for sleeping, the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC) said in Bunia.

In the early evening the prisoners broke down the door and went outside. While struggling with those prisoners who were trying to seize his weapon, the sentinel fired and "there are one dead, one person seriously wounded and three people slightly injured," but none succeeded in escaping, MONUC said.

The injured were taken to a hospital in Bunia, the capital of the Ituri district, and MONUC said it was investigating the incident further.

On Friday militia members ambushed and killed an officer and eight soldiers from MONUC in the same district as the "blue helmets" continued their efforts to protect internally displaced persons (IDPs) from looting, extortion and other acts of harassment by local militias. It was the worst attack on MONUC since the mission was launched in November 1999.


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