Search for second Trikala Prison fugitive continues after deadly firefight

Police and members of the EKAM special forces unit were continuing in northwestern Greece their search on Monday morning for Albanian fugitive Ilir Koupa, hours after another escapee from Trikala Prison, Marian Kola, was killed in an exchange of fire.

Authorities found a bullet proof vest and bag with food about 600 meters from where Kola died and have drafted in a coast guard helicopter with a thermal imaging camera to help them search for Koupa.

The search is centering on the village of Kato Zalongo. The two men had been spotted at around 4 a.m. on Sunday walking next to a river. It is believed they were trying to make their way to Albania.

Reports indicated that about 100 shots were fired during an armed exchanged between the convicts and their pursuers. A coroner was due to examine Kola’s corpse on Monday.

Police said that Kola had a Kalashnikov assault rifle, a Glock handgun and a hand grenade. A policeman was shot in the leg during the exchange with the fugitives.

Another fugitive from Trikala Prison, Lika Edison, was killed by police earlier this month along with his uncle, Flamur Sinani, who was allegedly helping some of the escapees.

Six of the 11 Albanian convicts that escaped from Trikala Prison in March had been on the run until Sunday. During their escape, two people have been killed, a police officer and a 25-year-old woman who was hit by a stray bullet fired by the fugitives at a patrol car that was pursuing them.

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