World Bulletin / News Desk
Dozens of prisoners have escaped from jail in Sudan's western Darfur region following clashes with prison guards, police said Wednesday.
One inmate was killed and four policemen injured in clashes that erupted on Tuesday in the main prison in Zalingei, capital of Central Darfur State, according to a police statement.
"Rioting erupted in Zalingei prison. Prisoners have attacked police in the prison, seizing some guns and firing in all directions," the statement read.
"As a result, one prisoner was killed and four policemen were injured and taken to hospital, some of them in serious condition," it added.
About 27 inmates have since been recaptured by the security forces. Others, however, remain at large, according to the police.
The police statement, however, did not say how many inmates were still on the run.
The release stressed that the incident would have no effect on elections that are currently taking place across the country.
Zalingei residents told that an unknown number of people had been killed and injured in a gunfight that erupted during the jailbreak.
"We heard heavy gunfire from the prison; then prisoners came out to the streets of the city, trading fire with police before escaping," Mohamed Fadlallah told by phone.
Another resident, Amna Ahmed Adam, told that the shooting had caused panic among town residents.
"The prisoners fled to the forest north of Zalingei, where shooting between them and police continued," she said.
"Until now, we can hear sporadic shooting from the direction of the forest outside the city," she added.
A Zalingei policeman, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media, told that the prisoners had raided the prison's arms depot before escaping.
"Prison guards and policemen followed them. During the ensuing clashes, some escaping inmates managed to seize two vehicles mounted with Dushka machineguns," he said.
"The number of people killed remains unknown," he added.
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