Four convicted murderers caught after Albania prison escape

Four out of the seven inmates serving life sentences for murder who escaped from an Albanian prison were arrested on Sunday, police said after a massive manhunt launched overnight.

But three were still on the run.

"Police operations are continuing... in order to arrest the three remaining convicts who escaped" on Saturday from the Drenova prison, some 170 kilometres (102 miles) south of the capital Tirana, Interior Minister Saimir Tahiri told reporters.

The inmates, all convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, had reportedly managed to disarm prison guards and flee by car.

Justice Minister Nasip Naco called Albania's prison system "rotten and riddled with corruption", promising "radical reforms within it".

Naco said that police had arrested 20 prison guards, while several officials in charge of security at the Drenova facility were immediately dismissed.

The Drenova prison houses 320 convicts.