SYDNEY (Reuters) - Police in Papua New Guinea shot and killed 11 prisoners and wounded 17 after a mass prison breakout in the Pacific nation’s second largest city, PNG media outlet EMTV reported on Friday.
More than 30 prisoners attacked two guards at the Buimo prison in Lae, nearly 320 km (200 miles) north of the Papua New Guinea capital, Port Moresby, before escaping, EMTV said.
“It is confirmed that 11 prisoners have been shot and killed and 17 wounded and recaptured,” EMTV quoted Metropolitan Superintendent Anthony Wagambie as saying.
It was not clear how many prisoners were unaccounted for, the station said.
In 2009, 73 prisoners cut through two fences to escape from the same facility, the Australian Broadcasting Corp reported.
Papua New Guinea, formerly administered by its near-neighbor Australia, struggles with endemic violence and poverty. The Australian government warns of “high levels of serious crime” on its travel advice website and refers to a “general atmosphere of lawlessness”.
Reporting by Colin Packham