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Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 8:31 p.m.
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Ukraine rocket attack leads to mass jail breakout

By The Associated Press

This article was published August 11, 2014 at 7:45 a.m.

DONETSK, Ukraine — Rockets slammed into a high-security prison Monday in the rebel-held city of Donetsk, igniting a riot that allowed more than 100 prisoners to flee, authorities in eastern Ukraine said.

Donetsk city council spokesman Maxim Rovinsky said a direct rocket hit killed at least one inmate and left three others severely wounded. In the chaos, he said 106 prisoners escaped, included some jailed for murder, robbery and rape.

In the past week Ukrainian government forces have intensified their military operations and surrounded Donetsk, the largest city in rebel-held eastern Ukraine. Exchanges of rocket fire and deaths from shelling have become a feature of daily life and hundreds of thousands have chosen to flee.

The prison break became possible after a substation providing the building with electricity was damaged, disabling the facility's alarm system.

"Extremely dangerous prisoners are now free. It is hard to know the extent of threat this poses to the city, which is flooded with weapons," Rovinsky said.

Officials with Ukraine's state penitentiary service said later Monday that 34 prisoners had returned to the jail. It was not immediately possible to verify that claim.

Read Tuesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more.

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