6 May 2011

PNG police appeal to escaped prisoners to surrender

2:14 pm on 6 May 2011

Police in Papua New Guinea are appealing to prisoners who have escaped from the Buiebi jail in Southern Highlands province to give themselves up.

Local media has reported that six armed men broke into the prison compound early on Wednesday morning, stole weapons and ammunition from thhe prison armoury, and aided the escape of 91 prisoners.

The acting deputy police commissioner, Fred Yakasa, says police have not yet confirmed the number of criminals who escaped but he believes at least 80 broke out.

He says police are asking the prisoners to return to jail voluntarily.

"We are saying peacefully surrender back to police because hunting them down may likely get them into some confrontational situation where they may get themselves hurt or we may hurt ourselves in the process as well."

Fred Yakasa says police are also asking the public to help return the escaped prisoners and the stolen weapons.