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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 April 2006, 09:40 GMT 10:40 UK
Gambia's 'coup plotters' escape
President Yahya Jammeh
President Jammeh took power in a coup and won elections in 2001
Five men who were arrested in The Gambia last month over allegations of a planned coup have escaped from custody.

The prisoners, including the ex-head of intelligence and four military officers, were on their way to a jail 200km from the capital, Banjul.

They made a break for freedom after their vehicle drove into a ditch and almost somersaulted, police said.

The escapees were among a group of 27 people accused of planning to overthrow President Yahya Jammeh in March.

The president seized power in a 1994 coup and won a second term in 2001.

He seeks re-election this year and has vowed to crush any attempt to overthrow him "without mercy".

The escaped men are still on the run and police have warned people not to harbour them

The alleged mastermind, former army chief of staff Mbure Cham, has reportedly fled to Senegal, which surrounds The Gambia.

There have been a number of high-profile army sackings in the past year or so.

Late last year, Gambian police arrested three leading opposition figures in what the government said was part of a probe into a national security threat.


SEE ALSO:
Arrests over Gambia 'coup plot'
28 Mar 06 |  Africa
Country profile: The Gambia
04 Nov 05 |  Country profiles
Gambia poll landslide
18 Jan 02 |  Africa


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