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Thai police kill Myanmar convicts, rescue hostages

bodies
The bodies of nine armed Myanmar convicts killed by police in a shootout  

November 23, 2000
Web posted at: 10:46 AM HKT (0246 GMT)

BANGKOK, Thailand (Reuters) -- Thai police marksmen shot and killed nine armed Myanmar convicts and rescued their three hostages after a gun battle close to the Thai-Myanmar border, police said on Thursday.

Police told Thai radio that all the convicts, who staged a dramatic jailbreak from a Thai provincial prison with a group of Thai hostages on Wednesday, were killed after police fired into a light pick-up truck they were using to escape.

Earlier, police had said eight convicts were killed.

One of the officers said all three of the hostages, which included the governor of the prison Somwong Sirivecha, survived the shootout. One police officer was injured.

shootout
Police fired on two vehicles carrying nine armed Myanmar convicts and three hostages  

They said one unidentified hostage had been injured and was being taken to hospital with knife wounds. The condition of the other hostages was unclear. They were removed from the scene of the shootout by helicopter, police said.

The prisoners, all serving long sentences, were allowed to drive away from Samut Sakorn prison, about 40 km (25 miles) southwest of Bangkok, on Wednesday after they seized seven prison officials.

Police ended the 21-hour hostage drama in the Thai border province of Kanchanaburi, about 125 kilometers (78 miles) west of Bangkok, after an overnight high-speed chase through central Thailand.

Copyright 2000 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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