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Armed men break out prisoner in Shan State

Officers stand at a checkpoint outside a military base in Taunggyi on 16 June 2015, shortly after a prisoner had escaped. (PHOTO: DVB).

A man standing trial on drug charges in Shan State was broken out of a jail truck by a group of unknown armed men on Monday.

The Shan State Police’s Lt-Col San Lwin said the drug suspect, identified as Khun Nan, was being escorted back to prison in Yawnghwe (Nyaung Shwe) from Taunggyi District courthouse when four armed men stopped the truck and snatched him.

“The jail truck transporting inmates – seven male and one female – was heading back to the prison when a Toyota Mark-II pulled up and blocked the road ahead,” said the officer.

“Four men in green camouflage jumped out of the sedan carrying firearms and demanded the police security free Khun Nan from handcuffs before driving off with him.

“As the men were holding both the police and other inmates at gunpoint, no one could do anything. After they drove off, some police officials got off the jail truck and tried to chase after them in another vehicle but couldn’t catch them.”

Khun Nan, 23, was facing drug charges after he was found carrying nearly 2,000 amphetamine pills in October last year when travelling on an express bus from Loikaw in Karenni State to Rangoon.

The Shan State Police said the authorities are launching a manhunt to find the suspect and the men responsible for the breakout in several townships in the area including Taunggyi, Yawnghwe, Pinlaung and Pekon.