Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Requiem for a recorder

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

"The pen is mightier than the sword"

Read more

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Russia targets McDonald's over tensions with West

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola: Liberian authorities admit 17 patients are missing

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'New York Post' slammed for publishing Foley execution images

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza: Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza: Back to Square One? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza conflict: 72-hour ceasefire deal sets stage for Cairo talks

Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies at 81

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    Read more

  • Deadly street battles hit Ukrainian rebel stronghold

    Read more

  • US attorney general visits Missouri town after fatal shooting

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

  • Netanyahu compares Hamas to IS, Gaza offensive to continue

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • France’s ex-PM Juppé sets up presidential clash with Sarkozy

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande says global security ‘worst since 2001’

    Read more

  • France urges Iran, others in region, to join fight against IS

    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)