BENI, Congo (AP) — At least five people, including two policemen, were killed in an attack on a prison in which about 750 inmates escaped in Congo’s eastern Butembo town, local officials said Wednesday.
Rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces attacked the Kakwangura prison early Wednesday during a transfer of prisoners, said Capt. Anthony Mwalushay, spokesman for the Congolese army in Beni. Three ADF attackers burned to death in the assault, he said.
The rebels launched the attack based on information that women prisoners associated with their group would be transferred from Beni to Butembo, he said.
“We call on the population to remain calm,” he said.
Butembo mayor Mowa Baeki-Telly told The Associated Press that the prison held more than 800 prisoners and that only about 50 remain.
“We are tracking the ADF rebels and detaining them in town,” he said, adding that they will have a more official count by the end of the day.
In October 2020, another rebel attack on the Kangbayi prison, caused about 1,300 detainees to escape in Beni in the North Kivu province.
AP writer Jean-Yves Kamale in Kinshasa, Congo contributed.