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Kazakh Police Catch Eight Escaped Convicts, 13 On The Run

ASTANA -- Kazakh police have caught eight convicts who escaped from jail on June 22, but 13 are still at large, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Kazakh Justice Ministry spokesman Yerbolat Yerimbet said in Astana that the 21 convicts managed to escape from the GM 172/1 maximum-security labor camp in Kazakhstan's western Manghystau Oblast with the help of an unknown group of individuals who came in two vehicles.

Yerimbet said that after driving up to the walls of the prison they opened fire on a guard tower. He said the number of prisoners who tried to escape was higher, but several were shot dead by prison guards.

Maqsut Sarqulov, the chief physician of the Manghystau Oblast Health Clinic, told RFE/RL that one Interior Ministry soldier and one guard were wounded in the incident and were hospitalized.

Meanwhile, local media is reporting that seven bodies were brought to the morgue in Aqtau, the capital of the remote region and nearest town. It is not clear if any guards are among the dead.