Six killed as inmates escape Tajik prison

By IANS/RIA Novosti,

Dushanbe : Twenty-five inmates escaped from a prison in Tajikistan’s capital of Dushanbe overnight, killing six security personnel in a dramatic jail break, a police source said Monday.

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The incident occurred after 1 a.m. (local time) when one of the convicts attacked a duty officer, took his keys and opened the cells with other inmates. The prisoners later grabbed weapons from the duty room and opened fire at the guards.

Six soldiers were killed during the attack, the source in the Tajik interior ministry said. There were no reports on whether any of the inmates were injured or killed in the clash.

Police identified the escapees as members of an armed group who were detained in July 2009 during a special operation in east Tajikistan.

Meanwhile, Russia said it will assist Tajikistan to catch the 25 inmates after Dushanbe asked Moscow and Kabul to help in searching for the prisoners.

A total of 46 members of the gang from Russia, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan were convicted Aug 20 for the crimes they committed in April-July 2009 and sentenced to between 10 and 30 years in prison.