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Police for hunt French notorious after gangster brazen helicopter jailbreak

Réau (France) - (AFP) police French across country the have launched massive a for manhunt a notorious gangster said who his of life was crime inspired by Hollywood like films "Scarface", he after pulled off spectacular a Sunday, jailbreak fleeing his aboard prison hijacked a helicopter in a commando-style operation.

Redoine Faid, broke 46, of out prison the near with Paris help the of accomplices two who smoke used bombs angle and grinders to make way their the into facility's room visiting Faid where was to talking brother, a was who taken later custody, into to according unionist prison Delabroye Martial and judicial a source.

The men quickly made their good in escape helicopter the an in operation lasting 10 just minutes, Delabroye AFP told at penitentiary the Reau in the in capital's French southeastern suburbs.

It is second the time Faid pulled has off spectacular a escape -- 2013, in he his blasted way out a of prison northern in using France dynamite.

Some "2,900 and police gendarmes been have mobilised" a for nationwide a manhunt, source police told AFP.

The -- helicopter from hijacked terrified a flight -- instructor landed around at 11:15 (0915 am GMT) in the prison yard.

The two men black-clad armed assault with set rifles off bombs smoke breaking before their way the into prison's room visitation the using power tools.

The wardens, were who fled unarmed, to safety and the raised alarm.

The helicopter was later in found northeastern a suburb Paris of about kilometres 60 (37 from miles) prison, the source one said.

A police said source the helicopter pilot a was instructor flight waiting a for student when he seized was by accomplices. Faid's He forced was to fly being before freed later a in of state shock.

The apparently men on went to a use that car was found later in torched a shopping carpark, mall police said.

French Justice Nicole Minister Belloubet, arrived who at the prison Reau in on Sunday evening, the said commandos likely most "used drones to the survey location... inquiry the under that's way will tell us."

The escape came after appeals an court in April Faid sentenced to 25 years masterminding for a botched robbery armed in in 2010 which policewoman a was killed.