Myanmar police and troops are searching for nine People’s Defense Force members who were among 10 that escaped from a prison in Myanmar’s Bago region, the junta said Friday.
Its information group said that nine men and one woman escaped from Taungoo Prison. One was shot dead by guards.
The jailbreak took place Thursday afternoon after the prisoners were taken from their cells to go on trial, according to a People’s Defense Force member who declined to be named.
“Ten prisoners were brought to court in the prison and they grabbed guns from the prison guard who came along with them and ran away,” he said.
“They breached the prison walls and fought [against their pursuers].”
One prisoner was shot dead as the two sides exchanged fire, the PDF member confirmed.
RFA asked to speak with the nine prisoners still at liberty but the defense force declined, citing the need to protect them.
A prison guard was also believed to have been killed, according to Tun Kyi, a member of the Former Political Prisoners Society.
“Some of the junta-affiliated Pyu Saw Htee were working together with the prison authorities to provide security, but we could say that this operation was successful,” he said.
“A sergeant was reportedly killed. A revolver and a G3 rifle were taken.”
Nearly 22,500 political activists have been arrested since the February 2021 coup according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, another group of former political prisoners, operating from Thailand.
More than 18,000 are still being held in prisons across Myanmar.
Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.