MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine police say 11 detainees including the leader of a notorious bandit group have escaped from a jail by cutting through iron grills with a smuggled hacksaw.
The fugitives include Datukan Samad, a high-profile suspect facing kidnapping and murder charges in the southern Philippines. He has been linked to Muslim rebels.
Samad was transferred to the Maguindanao Provincial Jail in Cotabato city following a failed attempt to spring him from another jail in February that left three people dead, including a Red Cross driver.
Cotabato police chief Danny Reyes says the fugitives sawed through iron bars in the jail's bathroom and escaped early Tuesday. A manhunt is under way.
The escape happened a day after President Benigno Aquino III lauded jail authorities for tightening notoriously lax security in prisons.