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Prisoners use Pope visit as chance to escape

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By Agence France-Presse

Two prisoners who were invited to meet Pope Francis for lunch on his recent visit to Bologna took advantage of the occasion to escape, local media reports said Wednesday.

The two men, who were being held in a rehabilitation facility for drug addicts and prisoners, were reportedly among 20 prisoners who were due to meet Francis on October 1.

They disappeared either just before or just after the lunch and have not been seen since, according to reports that local authorities have not confirmed or denied.

Francis has made mercy one of the themes of his papacy and regularly meets prisoners on his trips outside the Vatican. (AFP)