More than 60 detainees escaped in a prison on the outskirts of the Lebanese capital Beirut on the 21st. 15 of them were subsequently captured and 5 died in a car accident.
The prison is located in the Babda district on the southeast suburbs of Beirut. The Babda Palace, the Lebanese Presidential Palace, is located in this area.
The Lebanese State News Agency reported that the detainees rushed out of the cell and fled the prison early on the 21st. The security forces subsequently sealed off the area around the prison to hunt for those who escaped.
Security forces sources told Reuters that the prison held people awaiting trial and a total of 69 people escaped that day.
The security forces said in a statement that a total of 15 people were arrested, four others surrendered, and six others stole a car. They drove into a roadside tree due to a slippery road. Five people were killed and one was injured. The injured have been taken to the hospital.
The Lebanese Presidential Palace said that President Michel Aoun has learned of the incident and has ordered the pursuit of fugitives. Prosecutor Gada Aoun told AFP that the prosecutor is investigating the escape and does not rule out the possibility of detainees “collaborating with prison security personnel.”
The Babda district government urges residents to stay vigilant, and security forces are searching for escaped persons throughout the district.
According to Agence France-Presse, some prisons in Lebanon have been greatly affected by Coronavirus pandemic, and the parliament is considering a draft amnesty for prisoners.
Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, Lebanon has confirmed more than 113,000 cases and 884 deaths. In order to curb the new wave of epidemics, Lebanon implemented a nationwide “cities lockdown” this month.
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