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Escaped French prisoners captured: Police

Two armed convicts who blasted their way out of a French jail taking guards and motorists hostage were captured today near Paris.

world Updated: Feb 17, 2009 12:14 IST

Two armed convicts who blasted their way out of a French jail taking guards and motorists hostage were captured on Tuesday near Paris, police said.

The pair, armed with at least one handgun, were picked up at around 0500 GMT on a main road near the capital's satellite town of Creteil.

A source close to the investigation said gunfire was exchanged although no-one was injured.

Described as gangsters, the duo escaped from a jail in central France on Sunday after taking two guards hostage and using smuggled explosives to blow open security gates, officials said.

They stole a vehicle and police, including officers from the elite GIPN special weapons squad, gave chase in squad cars and helicopters.

On Monday, they kidnapped a motorist Willy Peters and his grandson in the northern town of Amiens and forced them to drive to Arras, closer to the Belgian border, where they released them unharmed.