Dramatic hostage drama in Greece

2013-03-17 08:18
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Athens - Authorities in Greece say a convicted prisoner in Greece trying to escape for the third time has taken six hostages - both prison officers and prisoners - and demands to be allowed to leave the prison.

The prisoner claims to be heavily armed.

A photo shot by a prisoner and obtained by The Associated Press shows Albanian convict Alket Rizaj holding what he claims to be a live grenade besides six handcuffed hostages.

Police special forces have deployed outside the Malandrino prison, in central Greece, while prison officers and a prosecutor try to negotiate with Rizaj. His lawyer is also present.

Rizaj, convicted for murders, has escaped twice before, in 2006 and 2009, from Korydallos maximum security prison in Athens, both times by helicopters that picked him and another convict, Vassilis Paleokostas, from the prison's courtyard.

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