More than 150 inmates escape from Philippines jail

An overcrowded jail cell in Manila.
(Image credit: Gondi Tawatao/Getty Images)

Police in the Philippines say that before dawn on Wednesday, more than 100 gunmen stormed the North Cotabato district jail in Kidapawan, allowing at least 150 inmates to escape. One guard was killed in the jailbreak and an inmate was wounded.

Authorities say they suspect the attack in the southern city was led by a local Muslim rebel commander, The Guardian reports. Warden Peter John Bonggat told a local television station the goal was to "rescue their comrades under our custody," and prisoners who were not part of their group took advantage of the situation and escaped. The dilapidated jail in a rural area housed 1,511 inmates, and didn't have enough guards, Bonggat said. The army and police are searching for the escaped prisoners, with local authorities reporting that up to six of them have been killed.

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Catherine Garcia, The Week US

Catherine Garcia is night editor for TheWeek.com. Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and EW.com, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.