en Kenyan prisoners broke out of a police cell by singing hymns and chanting prayers to drown the sound of their escape, a newspaper reported Friday.

The Daily Nation said the singing prisoners sawed through the iron bars of the cell window before scrambling to freedom in Machakos, a town south of Kenyan capital Nairobi.

"The robbers cut the grill and our officers have been in hot pursuit of them since morning. We know where they live and we will find them," said Charles Mathenge, chief of Machakos police station where the men had been detained awaiting trial.

But he denied the prisoners, due before court on charges of violent robbery, had made their escape by singing. "They were not singing at all, at least our officers would have heard them. We had other remandees in the cells and we have recorded their statements, no one has told us about singing," Mathenge told Reuters.

However, the Daily Nation said inmates in neighboring cells were woken up by the hymns.


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