96 prisoners escaped from prison in Ivory Coast

A total of 96 prisoners escaped Sunday from the Katyola prison in Ivory Coast, 45 km north of Bouake, the country’s second largest city, security and judicial sources said.

“The prisoners fled Sunday morning between 5 and 6,” a security source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. A prison official confirmed the escape and the number of prisoners who escaped.

According to a judicial source in Katyola, “this mass exodus is backed by the helpers of Yoko, a Chinese prisoner who was killed years ago in prison.”

“The prisoners boarded their cells to reach other cells and took advantage of the workers’ exit to break the main gate and escape,” he said.

“The search began immediately to find fugitives, some of whom were arrested by police and gendarmerie,” prison director Joachim Koffi Kongwe said.

He said in a statement that an investigation had been launched “to determine responsibilities for this escape” and called on “the population to maintain their calm.”

On August 6, on the eve of Independence Day, five prisoners escaped from Gagona prison in central Ivory Coast. Authorities arrested four prison guards and a civilian on suspicion of conspiring to facilitate their escape, according to the mayor.

On Aug. 8, 20 prisoners escaped from the Justice Palace in the center of the capital Abidjan after they extended their guards