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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

4 Break Out of Riga Prison

RIGA, Latvia -- Four inmates escaped from a maximum-security prison in the Latvian capital early Wednesday, a prison administration spokesman said.

The prisoners, who are considered dangerous, broke through their cell door and slipped through a window at the Riga Central Prison before scaling a fence to escape, said Karlis Serzants, a spokesman for the Latvian prison administration.

Guards fired several shots at the prisoners but missed, Serzants said.

He said one of the prisoners was serving time for murder and another for rape. The other two were in jail for robbery. Latvian police stepped up patrols in search of the four.

Serzants said the inmates were able to escape because there were too few guards manning the prison. He said there were only 23 guards on duty at the time, when there should have been 29.