Militants flee Philippines jail

Philippines officials say that security forces have killed at least seven prisoners after a mass escape from a jail in the south of the country.

At least 53 inmates of the jail on Basilan island broke out using smuggled firearms.

Some prisoners were recaptured during a firefight in which the seven were killed.

The fugitives include members of Abu Sayyaf, an Islamic militant group which the US says has ties to al-Qaeda.

Wounded

A local official said that the wife of one of the inmates had smuggled a pistol into the jail.

Three prison guards were wounded during the escape and some had their firearms stolen.

Some guards were also taken hostage but were later freed.

Security forces are attempting to recapture the remaining fugitives.

Basilan Governor Wahab Akbar said, "'We will get them all back", adding that they would not negotiate the prisoners' surrender.

The jailbreak comes two days after Philippines army said it killed one of the leaders of Abu Sayyaf, Hamsiraji Sali.

Basilan has long been a stronghold of Abu Sayyaf, a militant group whose main occupation is kidnapping for ransom.

The United States says it regards them as terrorists because of their past links with Osama Bin Laden.

10/04/2004

Bron : BBC World

Archief - Home