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MARATHON TRIAL UPDATES

Penalty phase set to start

3 Chinese inmates kill guard, break out of jail

BEIJING — Chinese authorities set up checkpoints and offered a reward of $48,000 for three inmates who killed a guard, donned police uniforms, and escaped Tuesday in a rare jailbreak.

Police were searching for the fugitives after they escaped from Yanshou detention center outside Harbin in northeastern China, the Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper said on its website.

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The newspaper earlier said two of the men had been captured but later retracted that report.

An arrest warrant issued by provincial police said that the men, identified as Gao Yulun, Wang Damin, and Li Haiwei, were unarmed at the time of the jailbreak and that officials were offering a reward of $16,000 for information leading to the capture of each man.

The men killed the guard, and were wearing police jackets and shirts as they left the detention center, the warrant said.

A guard who answered the phone at the detention center said he was not permitted to answer questions, and calls to the county’s Communist Party propaganda office rang unanswered.

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