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Two recidivists from Trikala are dead

03 July 2013 / 16:07:44  GRReporter
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Two of the five recidivists of Albanian origin who killed policeman George Andritsopoulous, aged 37, near the village of Distomo in June this year are dead. Over the past 48 hours, the Greek police along with the special forces to combat heavy crime have been involved in a large-scale operation to apprehend the runaways from the prison in Trikala. The traces of the three criminals had been found near the village Konsiska in the area of Etoloakarnania.

According to Ethnos newspaper, Murtai Kristak, aged 41, and Edison Lika, aged 25, were killed after a shooting. Lika had been apprehended in Nauplion in March 2008 for a series of burglaries and was serving an eight-year sentence. The third member of the group, Mario Kola, who is considered as the leader of the group and the most dangerous of the recidivists, had been able to escape.

The information about the second dead person varies in different Greek media. According to To Vima newspaper which refers to Albanian sources, he is not Muratai but Ilir Koupa. He is also of Albanian origin and was involved in a criminal organization associated with robberies. Their targets were not only homes and villas but also a nursing home in the Athens district of Holargos from where they had stolen almost five thousand euro.

The two dead men and Kola are part of the gang which, in recent weeks, has carried out a series of car thefts, assaults and other crimes in order to avoid being apprehended again. Kola is believed to have been involved in all attacks which the group has carried out since its escape from prison.

Runaway Mario Kola, who is still free, had been captured in early 2010 after participating in a shooting with policemen in the Athens neighbourhood of Vironas and he was serving 13 years in prison in Trikala.

According to Ethnos newspaper, the operation to apprehend the criminals involves more than 1,000 policemen. The chase took place at night. Once the police surrounded the area, they used thermal cameras to determine the exact location of the runaways who were hiding in the bushes, away from the road to the village of Konsiska, awaiting the late hours of the day to continue moving.

The edition reports that when they decided that the terrain was clear they went out onto the road to try to continue to escape. The police had also come out of cover and warned them to stop. The runaway prisoners opened fire and the police responded to it According to testimonies of residents in the area, the shooting lasted several minutes. "The two criminals were heavily armed. We do not yet know the whereabouts of the other three. The deceased will be identified after the examination of their fingerprints," a police representative involved in the operation states for the electronic edition of To Vima newspaper.

Early in the afternoon on Wednesday, the police officially announced the identities of the two Albanian criminals who died after the shooting with the police. The first of them really is Edison Lika as the initial information had stated. The second is his uncle Kudim Lika who is believed to have played a crucial role in the escape of the prisoners from Trikala in March this year. Kudim himself is also a recidivist who had escaped from the prison in Larissa in 2006. The police report makes it clear that the two criminals were armed with two Kalashnikovs, six magazines, two pistols and a hand grenade.

The police operation continues. Further details will be submitted later in the day.

Tags: Crime newsTrikalaPrisonRecidivistsGreeceAlbanians
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