70 illegals escape through hole in jail wall; 25 rearrested

In this November 9, 2013 file photo shows members of Saudi security forces detain Ethiopian workers during a riot in Manfouha, southern Riyadh.

In this November 9, 2013 file photo shows members of Saudi security forces detain Ethiopian workers during a riot in Manfouha, southern Riyadh.

Around 70 Ethiopians escaped from a detention center in Riyadh.

“We have arrested 25 of them and the security authorities are in hot pursuit of the remaining detainees,” said Capt. Abdullah Al-Harbi, general director of prisons.

According to police, the detention centers are heavily monitored by surveillance cameras.

Col. Fawaz Al-Maiman, official spokesman for Riyadh police, said that the detention facilities are subjected to stringent security procedures. “The Ethiopians escaped from the Al-Murabba police station,” he said.

Police have been cracking down on illegal migrants since the expiration in November of a seven-month amnesty during which they had to regularize their status or leave the country, in operations that have sparked deadly clashes.

According to one newspaper, the inmates dug a hole into the wall of their cell and escaped early on Thursday.

Nearly one million foreign migrants took advantage of last year’s amnesty to leave voluntarily, while another four million were able to find employers to sponsor them.

Since the start of this year, the authorities have deported nearly 574,000 illegals.

More than 13,000 illegals are still being held at detention centers across the Kingdom awaiting completion of their deportation procedures.

 
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