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Buimo Escape

Separate sources from the Correctional Service and police have stated that the number of prisoners shot dead during a prison breakout on Friday stands at 17.

Figures provided by the sources state that more than 70 escaped on Friday.  16 were killed at the time of the escape while one died of his injuries later.

This is the second such escape in three years with disastrous consequences.

Early Friday night, the bodies of the prisoners were taken to the Angau General hospital morgue.

Officially, Correctional Service Command  at the Buimo prison has not issued an official statement regarding the escape.

But that has always been the case for previous instances where prisoners have broken out of Buimo.

The escape is likely to have  occurred in the main prison compound where the bulk of remandees are held.

There have been several investigations into  previous prison escapes, which highlight a number of similar concerns.

Topping the list is overcrowding,  poor sanitary conditions and  frustration caused by the long waiting periods for prisoners on remand.

Despite these concerns, there has been virtually no political or administrative will  to resolve the root causes of the escapes.

The Correctional Service Command, both in Lae and Port Moresby continue to admit that funding delays have resulted in ongoing food shortages in jails around the country.

The delay in  court hearings  for prisoners  on remand  have also left some prisoners  languishing in jail for up to a decade in some instances.

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