calendar Saturday, 28 November 2020 clock
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BEIRUT: Five escaping prisoners died on Saturday when their car hit a tree after more than 60 detainees broke out of a Lebanese detention centre outside Beirut, Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces (ISF) said in a statement.

The ISF statement did not say how the 69 prisoners had escaped from the facility, which a security source said holds pre-trial detainees and is part of Baabda district prison near Beirut.

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President Michel Aoun was briefed by the caretaker interior minister about the breakout and ordered search operations be intensified and the incident be investigated, the presidency tweeted.

The ISF said 15 prisoners had been caught while four others turned themselves in. The five died when a car they seized crashed into a tree in what the statement described as an accident while one prisoner was injured and taken to hospital.

State news agency NNA earlier said the prisoners had escaped from the prison at dawn after breaking open cell doors.