Drug suspects escape arrest after shootout

Police located a large cannabis plantation outside of Lamia, central Greece, yesterday but failed to arrest two suspects in connection with the cultivation after a lengthy shootout with the armed men. Police said they surrounded a hashish farm they located after a tip-off in an area 14 kilometers south of Lamia yesterday morning, and arrested one man they found sleeping in a small hut next to the plantation. The man had two Russian hand grenades and a hand gun hidden under his bed, police said. After questioning the man, police surrounded the farm again and soon two other men, both Albanian nationals, appeared at the site. Upon seeing the police, they started firing their Kalashnikov rifles in a bid to escape and managed to get away by crawling through a nearby ravine. Police were unable to track down the men even with the help of a helicopter armed with a heat-sensor device. «These are criminals that will stop at nothing,» said police inspector Nikos Leloudas. Authorities described the cannabis plantation as being a professional operation.

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