10 Inmates Killed in Philippines Prison Grenade Blast

10 Inmates Killed in Philippines Prison Grenade Blast
Photo Credit:Reuters/達志影像

What you need to know

At least 10 inmates who were killed at a prison in the Philippines on Thursday may have been trying to escape.

The death of 10 inmates in a grenade explosion at a Filipino prison on Thursday evening may have occurred during an escape attempt, reports are saying.

Senior Supt. Jose Carumba said the prison’s warden, who was critically injured in the blast, was involved in a gunfight with prisoners before the grenade exploded, local website Inquirer reports.

Carumba said investigations were underway to see whether the men were trying to escape. Eight of the 10 men were imprisoned for drug-related charges. The others were reportedly in jail for robbery and homicide, the Inquirer says.

Initial reports also say the group included at least two Chinese nationals.

The incident occurred around 8:30 pm at the Parañaque City Jail, Manila.

A major crackdown on drugs in recent months has seen hundreds killed in a spate of extrajudicial killings and prisons pushed to capacity – in addition to police arrests, more than 100,000 drug dealers and users have reportedly surrendered themselves to authorities.

International human rights groups have called on the Philippines leadership to stop the killings and take immediate action to deal with what they say is a humanitarian crisis developing in the country’s prisons.

“While police are not detaining all of those who turned themselves in, the thousands who are now behind bars are pushing the capacity of jails and detention centers to the breaking point,” Human Rights Watch researcher Carlos Conde says. “These conditions are worsening the humanitarian crisis inside Philippine jails, which are already plagued by serious sanitation and health problems, including rampant tuberculosis.”

First Editor: Olivia Yang
Second Editor: J. Michael Cole