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Chinese Inmates Kill Officer, Escape

BEIJING (AP) — Three prisoners including a death row inmate killed a guard, donned police uniforms and escaped in a rare jailbreak in northeastern China early Tuesday, prompting a manhunt that later recaptured two of the men, state media said.

Armed police searched for the other fugitive, following the breakout from Yanshou county jail outside the city of Harbin, according to a report on the website of the Communist Party's People's Daily newspaper.

Two of the men were recaptured near a reservoir about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the jail, the paper said.

One of the men, Gao Yulun, 50, had been sentenced to death, the report said. The other two, Wang Damin, 35, and Li Haiwei, 29, were charged, respectively, with assault leading to death and murder, although it wasn't clear whether they had gone on trial yet.

People's Daily did not say which man was still on the run.

The three had killed the guard about 6 a.m. and had donned police jackets and shirts as they left the jail, the report said.

No other details were given and a guard who answered the jail's phone said he was not permitted to answer questions, while calls to the county's Communist Party propaganda office rang unanswered.

Chinese jails and prisons are run along strict lines and escapes are extremely rare.

China imprisons are far smaller percentage of its population than the U.S. — 118 per 100,000 people compared to America's 737 per 100,000. However, punishments are often harsh and China is believed to execute more people for crimes each year than the rest of the world combined.

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