Four jihadist prisoners have escaped the central prison in Nouakchott, Mauritania’s capital following a deadly gun duel that claimed two national guards were killed on Sunday night.
The country’s interior ministry on Monday released a statement that two other guards sustained bullet wounds as the identities of the four escapees are concealed.
“The National Guard has tightened its control over the prison and immediately started tracking down the fugitives in order to arrest them as soon as possible,” the ministry said according to AFP.
After the escape, which the ministry said took place at 9:00 pm (2100 GMT) Sunday, it asked people to report any information that might help in arresting the fugitives.
According to a military official speaking on condition of anonymity, two of the prisoners had been sentenced to death, while the other two were awaiting trial for membership of a terrorist organisation.
The source also said their vehicle had been found northeast of Nouakchott, but the report disclosed that the death penalty has not been enforced in Mauritania since 1987.
AFP report said that there have been no jihadist attacks in Mauritania since 2011 but the country shares a border with Mali, where a jihadist insurgency that began in 2012 has spread to other Sahel countries.
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