A notorious gangster has escaped by helicopter from a prison in the Paris region, the French authorities say.
Redoine Faid was helped by several heavily armed men who created a diversion at the prison entrance while the helicopter landed in the courtyard.
The helicopter flew to the nearby Gonesse area, where it was found by local police.
Faid, 46, has been serving a 25-year sentence for a failed robbery during which a police officer was killed.
This is his second prison break: in 2013, he escaped after seizing four guards as human shields and blowing several doors off with dynamite.
He staged that escape less than half an hour after arriving at a prison in northern France, and spent six weeks on the run.
In 2009 Faid wrote a book about his experiences of growing up in Paris’s crime-ridden suburbs and graduating into a life of law-breaking.
He claimed to have turned his back on criminality, but a year later was involved in the failed robbery for which he was serving a sentence at the prison in Réau in the Seine-et-Marne region.
Faid and his accomplices escaped from the prison courtyard – which was not protected by a net – without injuring anyone.
Armed men took the prisoner from the visitors’ room, where he was talking to his brother Brahim, before fleeing by air.