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France’s Top Gangster Makes Spectacular Escape from Prison France’s Top Gangster Makes Spectacular Escape from Prison

April 15, 2013 - One of the most dangerous gangsters in all of France, who is known for his brazen attacks on armored vehicles, blew his way out of prison after he had taken several hostages, said prison officials.

Redoine Faid was in prison and facing a possible long sentence over the death in 2010 of a French policewoman. On Saturday, Faid used explosives to blast his way through five doors at the prison to freedom in Sequedin a town in northern France.

Helicopters in the air and police on the ground were tracking the escapee, who set his getaway car ablaze just south of Lille prior to entering a second vehicle.

Officials said that Faid, the country’s most wanted person a couple of years ago was considered very dangerous and was armed with explosives and other weapons.

Interpol was contacted to help find Faid and France issued a warrant that was Europe wide for the apprehension of Faid. French authorities said the initial focus would be on Belgium since France shares a border with the country, but will extend to other countries as well.

Authorities said Faid was holding four hostages during his jailbreak. He released one just after escaping the prison and another about 350 feet later. The last two were then left along a stretch of highway.

Officials said that the jail in Sequedin was inadequate to house criminals such as Faid who are so dangerous. They claimed the hostage taking had been planned in a methodical fashion by Faid and complained that the search of detainees at the jail was not thorough.

Faid’s wife visited him early Saturday morning, but her lawyer denied vehemently that she was involved in any way in her husband’s escape.

FARC Releases 10 Captives FARC Releases 10 Captives

April 3, 2012- The FARC rebels in Colombia have freed ten captives they held for over 10 years. Those released were four members of the Colombian armed forces and six police officers. The 10 had been held in different prison camps throughout the country in the depths of the Colombian jungles.

The rebels have been holding these 10 as bargaining chips for pressuring the government. The International Red Cross was instrumental in getting the 10 captives released by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. The group called the release a gesture of peace.

The 10 men were dressed in army fatigues and looked well taken care of and relatively healthy. The 10 had been freed in a remote location in southern Colombia. One of the 10 wore a Colombian flag draped over his shoulders as he walked on the tarmac towards awaiting army personnel and family.

This release of prisoners could be the first step by FARC towards starting talks that could end the oldest Latin American insurgency. For five decades, the guerilla group has tried to destroy the economic infrastructure of the country.

The public and many in government are skeptical the group will negotiate and lay down their arms. In the past, they used peace talks as a way to strengthen their forces. Most people familiar with the group believe they are still holding over 700 civilians’ captive.

All ten released yesterday had been taken in the late 1990s.

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