Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

International Francophone Games kick off in Abidjan

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Iran open to dialogue with Saudis, says top diplomat

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Spicer bows out of White House

Read more

FOCUS

Iraq's Mosul: Rebuilding a city fractured by sectarian mistrust

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Bistrot or bust? Why France's famed cafés are disappearing

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: Afghans live in fear as kidnappings soar

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Kenya court rules Dubai firm can print presidential ballots

Read more

ENCORE!

Omar El Akkad's 'American War': A tale of US dystopia

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Exxon sues US over $2m fine for violating Russia sanctions

Read more

Europe

Convicts break out in daring airborne escape

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-24

Three prisoners have broken out of a Belgian jail in broad daylight using a hijacked helicopter. Officials said one of the accomplices was forced to stay behind because there was not enough space in the helicopter.

AFP - Three prisoners, among them one of Belgium's most dangerous criminals, escaped Thursday in an audacious jailbreak in broad daylight aboard a hijacked helicopter, the Justice Ministry said.
   
Two accomplices rented a helicopter, took the pilot hostage, and forced him to land in the courtyard of the jail, located in the northern city of Bruges, a ministry spokesperson told Belga news agency.
   
When the helicopter took off with the three convicts one of the accomplices stayed behind, possibly because of limited space aboard the helicopter, the spokesperson said.
   
"This accomplice is in any case guilty of hostage taking," the spokesperson added.
   
The escaped convicts and the accomplice were dropped off near a major road and the helicopter was abandoned at Aalter, on the outskirts of Bruges. The convicts then seized a vehicle from a nearby petrol pump, later switching cars and taking a female driver hostage before dropping her off at Melle in Flanders, according to the police.
   
The three escapees -- bank robber Ashraf Sekkaki, Mohammed Johry and Abdel Had Kahjary Mulloul -- are all repeat offenders, prosecutors in Bruges told Belga.
   
Sekkaki, 26, has been described as one of Belgium's most dangerous criminals, and was jailed for 10 years for a slew of crimes. He had escaped from a prison in the northern city of Turnhout in September 2003 and spent five months on the run before being captured by police.
  

Date created : 2009-07-24

COMMENT(S)