70 prisoners flee in second DR Congo jail break

Christian sect members attack Congo prison, free leader

A major operation is underway in Kinshasa to recapture the prisoners, reports the BBC's Mbelechi Msoshi from the city.

Gunmen from a Christian sect have stormed a prison in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital, freeing their leader and about 50 other inmates, a government spokesman says.

More than 70 inmates broke out of a prison in southwestern Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday, a local activist and a national deputy said, two days after thousands escaped from the capital's main penitentiary.southwestern Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday, a local activist and a national deputy said, two days after thousands escaped from the capital's main penitentiary.southwestern Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday, a local activist and a national deputy said, two days after thousands escaped from the capital's main penitentiary.

Government sources said at least eight people died during exchanges of gunfire in the assault to free Ne Muanda Nsemi, an MP who is the spiritual leader of the BDK - a group based in Kongo Central.

By around 8:30 am (0730 GMT), a column of thick black smoke could be seen rising over Makala prison, with dozens of police and soldiers blocking off all access to the facility.

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"Security force members who were sent as reinforcements have entered the prison", he said. Bundu dia Kongo representatives have denied responsibility for the attack. The government has blamed his followers for a string of violent attacks since the start of the year.

Congolese police has called for public support in finding the jail breakers.

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