Five prisoners have died in a crash when their stolen car hit a tree as they were fleeing police after a mass jailbreak in Lebanon.
On Saturday, the police in Lebanon tracked down 44 fleeing prisoners who fled from a detention center in the suburbs of Beirut. Authorities are now calling on local people to be on alert.
Under strict surveillance, 69 people broke away from a detention facility near the Presidential Palace in Baabda, east of Beirut.
Five died in a car accident after they lost control of the stolen vehicle as they raced away and crashed. They admitted another escapee inmate to the hospital.
By early Saturday afternoon, security forces already recaptured 15 inmates, and another four had returned, leaving 44 on the run.
A manhunt is … ongoing to re-arrest the remaining fugitive prisoners,” police claimed in a statement.
Local officials called on people to be on alert. Also, state officials already mobilized scores of security forces to check the area.
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Prosecutor Ghada Aoun called for the immediate investigation of the breakout.
Aoun stated that she could not rule out the likelihood of “collusion between prisoners and security guards charged with securing their cells.”
Lebanon on the lookout for breakout inmates
Judge Fadi Akiki, a government delegate at the military court, had a briefing with security authorities during an assessment of the detention facility and the car crash scene.
Relatives of the prisoners assembled outside the detention facility in Baabda’s Justice Palace, where others were pending trial.
Some inquired about the fate of their families, while others gave their sons back to prison.
They involve Joumana Berjawi, whose 22-year-old son survived after being detained for six months on charges of attempted murder – charges she denied.
“Among the escapees was my son, but I brought him back and handed him over to the state,” said Berjawi.
The jailbreak comes as prisoners across Lebanon called on the parliament to authorize a bill for general amnesty that would release thousands of them from coronavirus-hit jails.
Lebanon has reported more than 113,000 Covid-19 fatalities, including 884 deaths since the outbreak started in February.
To stem an increase in infections, the nation is currently under lockdown until the end of the month.
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