14 Apr 2003

Vanuatu prison escapers still on the run

10:07 am on 14 April 2003

Vanuatu's biggest village, called Mele, has been terrorised by four armed escaped prisoners.

The chief of the village has warned its 3 thousand inhabitants not to bathe in the river after dark and not to open the door to anyone knocking at night unless they first identify themselves.

The four prisoners are on the run after six of them broke out of jail over a week ago.

One of them was recaptured soon after the jail-break while a second surrendered because he was starving.

The remaining four who are listed by police as highly dangerous are understood to have stolen a point22 rifle and a pistol from a private home.

The public of Port Vila and surrounding villages have been warned to travel to their farms in groups for security reasons.

It's the first time in the country's 22 year history that prisoners have resorted to the use of firearms.