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Published: Sunday February 9, 2014 MYT 8:15:02 PM
Updated: Sunday February 9, 2014 MYT 8:15:56 PM

Italian police recapture mobster who fled after gunfight

ROME (Reuters) - Italian police recaptured a suspected mafia mobster on Sunday after he escaped from police custody in a gunfight in which his brother was killed.

Domenico Cutri was found "with a loaded pistol by his side" in a hideout near Milan, police said. A suspected accomplice was also arrested at the scene.

Cutri, who is suspected of ties to the Calabria-based 'Ndrangheta mafia and was serving a life sentence for planning a murder, was sprung from a transport van on the way to a court hearing on Monday by masked men who blinded police officers with pepper spray and took a bystander hostage, media reported.

In the ensuing gunfight, Cutri's brother Antonino was shot and later died of his injuries, according to news reports which likened the shootout near Milan to a scene from the Wild West.

Cutri's mother had urged her son to run and not turn himself in, telling the Corriere della Sera newspaper that: "Otherwise 'Nino died for nothing."

(Reporting by Naomi O'Leary; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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