Source AP ©

Ten prisoners escape from Honduran jail

Ten prisoners escaped from a Honduran jail, killing an unarmed guard and carjacking at least two visitors in the parking lot.

One of the escapees, a 24-year-old awaiting trial on homicide charges, was shot and killed in an abandoned lot near the prison, and another, a 26-year-old robbery suspect, was recaptured late Sunday, said Hector Ivan Mejia, spokesman for Honduras' Public Safety Department.

Officials were still searching for the other eight escapees on Monday.

The prisoners had opened fire at the Yoro penitentiary on Honduras's Caribbean coast on Sunday afternoon, killing 26-year-old guard Oscar Osorio, who was registering visitors. Three people were injured.

"They were shouting and shooting everywhere," prison director Martin Perez told The Associated Press by telephone. None of the guards had been armed, Perez said, because the escape took place during visiting hours.

The prisoners fled in at least two cars they stole from visitors at gunpoint in the jail's parking lot. Several people told authorities the fugitives had hijacked their cars and forced them to speed from area, ditching the drivers on nearby roads, Perez said.

It was unclear how the fugitives had gotten their hands on the weapons they used in the break. Guns and other contraband are often smuggled into Honduran prisons, sometimes by family members.

Honduras has struggled with prison breaks, riots and overcrowding in recent years. The Yoro prison was holding 220 prisoners, although its full capacity is 75.

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