Sri Lankan inmates attempt jailbreak; one escapes, another dies

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Colombo, Nov 18 (PTI) An inmate was killed while another fled during an attempted jailbreak in Sri Lanka’s central town of Kandy, an official said on Wednesday.

At least one prisoner has been injured in the incident which took place on Tuesday night at the Bogambara prison in the heart of the central town of Kandy, said Thushara Upuldeniya, the Commissioner General of Prisons.

“We were able to capture three of them while one of them had escaped, one died,” Upuldeniya said.

Last year, Bogambara's inmates were transferred to the Pallekele prison in the same district as the property was to be developed for other purposes.

However, with the second outbreak of COVID-19, the old Bogambara prison was converted into a quarantine center for inmates from prisons across the country.

Some 800 inmates were inside when the attempted jailbreak happened.

Bogambara was meant to be a quarantine center for only 100 inmates.

Over 400 inmates had tested positive for COVID-19 including from the main high security prison in Colombo, prison officials said.

Sri Lanka has seen a four-fold increase in coronavirus cases since early October.

As many as 401 new cases were identified on Tuesday, health officials said. Over 17,800 cases have been reported with 66 deaths since mid-March. PTI CORR CPS