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Over 200 Ugandan inmates escape jail, break into armoury before fleeing naked into remote wilderness

Ugandan forces are searching for more than 200 naked inmates who escaped jail, broke into an armoury, then stripped and fled into a remote wilderness area in the country's northeast.

At least three people, a soldier and two of the 219 escapees, died in the firefight, according to Brig. Flavia Byekwaso, spokeswoman for the military.

The jailbreak occurred on Wednesday afternoon (local time) near the army barracks in the district of Moroto. “They overpowered the warden who was on duty,” Byekwaso said.

The inmates are “hardcore” criminals who were jailed for offenses relating to cattle theft in the region, she said.

They took off their clothes to avoid being spotted in their distinctive yellow uniforms and ran into the foothills of Mount Moroto, an underpopulated area that the spokeswoman described as “a wilderness.”

“The pursuit is continuing,” she said, and warned that the escaped inmates might raid local homes for clothes.

It was not immediately possible to reach prison authorities or local officials.