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POST TIME: 12 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Gunmen storm Brazil prison, policeman killed
AFP

Gunmen storm Brazil prison, policeman killed

SAO PAULO: Heavily armed men blew down the front gate of a maximum security prison in northeastern Brazil early Monday and with guns blazing enabled 92 inmates to escape while killing a policeman, reports AFP quoting authorities.

Officials said the assault was carried out by about 20 men in four vehicles who fired on watchtowers and used explosives to destroy the front gate of the Romeu Goncalves Abrantes prison. A policeman shot in the assault later died in hospital. There were no other reports of deaths or injuries.

The prison, a maximum security facility with 680 inmates, is located in Joao Pessoa, the capital of Paraiba state.

“Heavily armed men knocked down the main gate after an exchange of fire with police and penitentiary agents,” the state’s secretariat for prisons said.

By midday, 41 of the 92 escaped prisoners had been recaptured as security forces locked down the state capital, closing schools and medical centers as a precaution.

More than a thousand police officers were mobilized to take part in the search, authorities said.

State prisons secretariat head, Colonel Sergio Fonseca de Souza, said the aim of the assault was to free three suspects arrested a year ago for an armed assault using explosives.