Uganda jail break: Manhunt for 'naked' Moroto prisoners

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An image shared by the Ugandan army showing escaped prisoners in yellow uniforms. It was captioned by a spokesperson as follows: "The operation by UPDF in pursuit of escapees from Singila prison in Moroto to rearrest them and recover the stolen guns continues."Image source, Uganda Peoples' Defence Forces
Image caption,
Escaped prisoners wearing distinctive yellow uniforms are seen in this photo released on Wednesday

Seven out of 219 prisoners who escaped from a jail in north-eastern Uganda have been recaptured, officials say.

Some of the fugitives reportedly took off their distinctive yellow prison uniforms and fled naked into the hills to avoid detection.

The escapees are thought to be trying to use mountain routes to cross the border into Kenya.

The inmates killed a soldier after they broke out of the facility in Moroto on Wednesday.

An army spokesperson said two inmates escapees had also been killed.

The army and prison officials are pursuing the escapees, who reportedly made off with 15 guns and ammunition.

The prison facility, which usually has a population of more than 600 inmates, is built on the foothills of Mount Moroto, on the edge of the town.

The site has been put under lockdown as investigations into how the jailbreak happened get under way.

Local reports on Wednesday said the shoot-out brought business in Moroto to a standstill.

Moroto is the biggest town in Karamoja, a semi-arid pastoralist region with a history of cattle rustling and gun violence, the BBC's Patience Atuhaire reports from Kampala.

A government disarmament programme in the early 2000s took most of the guns out of the hands of civilians, but sporadic clashes between different communities continue, our correspondent notes.