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An inmate has escaped from a pretrial holding facility in Metro Vancouver and RCMP say he is considered dangerous and should not be approached.

A statement from police says Rabih Alkhalil, who also uses the first name of Robby, escaped from the North Fraser Pre-trial Centre in Port Coquitlam shortly before 7 p.m. Thursday.

The statement says the 35-year-old left in a White Econoline Van with two people who were contractors at the jail or were posing as contractors.

Alkhalil is one of three men charged with the murder of 36-year-old Sandip Duhre, who was shot while sitting in a busy downtown Vancouver restaurant in January 2012.

The first-degree murder trial for Alkhalil and co-accused Larry Amero has been underway in B.C. Supreme Court for more than six months and court documents show it was scheduled to conclude in about three weeks.

Police say Alkhalil is of Middle Eastern descent, stands five feet 10 inches, has short black hair and brown eyes and was last seen wearing a black jumpsuit and a high-visibility vest.

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