Two of the five awaiting-trial prisoners who escaped while in transit from the High Court in Johannesburg in February have been killed in a shoot-out with police.

The suspects had just appeared in court in connection with the killing of three police officers in 2015.

They escaped while being transported to the Johannesburg Prison after the police van they were being driven in came under fire by unknown suspects, causing it to crash.

The suspects were shot and killed during a shootout with police in Newcastle in Kwazulu Natal in the early hours of Thursday morning.  But while the information on the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting is yet to be confirmed, one of the deceased has been confirmed as one of the five escaped awaiting trial prisoners.

The second was also on the list of the police’s most wanted suspects after escaping in June last year.

The suspects are all wanted in connection with the killing of three policemen in 2015, as well as armed robbery. They have also being linked to a number of cases for crimes committed in Gauteng.