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The Jakarta Post
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DKI Jakarta, Indonesia
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Suspected rebels storm Philippine jail, 132 inmates escape

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    Associated Press

Kidapawan, Philippines | Wed, January 4, 2017 | 10:24 am
Suspected rebels storm Philippine jail, 132 inmates escape Filipino men place their hands over their heads as they are rounded up during a police operation as part of the continuing "War on Drugs" campaign of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila, Philippines, Oct. 7, 2016. (AP/Aaron Favila)

More than 130 inmates have escaped in one of the largest jailbreaks in recent years after suspected Muslim rebels attacked a jail in the southern Philippines before dawn on Wednesday, officials said.

Jail warden Superintendent Peter Bongat said a guard was killed and an inmate was wounded in a gunbattle when dozens of gunmen stormed the North Cotabato District Jail in Kidapawan. The city is in Cotabato Province.

Kidapawan police chief Superintendent Leo Ajero said two prisoners of the 132 who escaped had been recaptured, and army troops and police were searching for the others. The jail held more than 1,500 inmates.

Local village leader Alexander Austria told The Associated Press by telephone that he and his men captured one of the men.

He said the exchanges of gunfire woke his village, which was several kilometers (miles) from the prison, and he immediately posted guards because of worries the attackers and escaped inmates could enter the village.

"We heard the gunfire and we sprang into action to guard our village," Austria said. "We were afraid the escapees could try to enter our village to hide or take hostages."

 

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