NEW DELHI— Indian police say they have launched a massive search for three Pakistani men convicted of bombing a crowded shopping area who escaped from custody shortly before they were to be deported.

Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat says the men already served their prison terms for setting off two bombs in June 2000 near the Red Fort, a massive 17th-century sandstone palace in the capital. Two people died in the blasts.

Bhagat says the men — Abdul Razzak, Mohammed Saddique and Rafaqat Ali — fled Friday on their way back from a routine medical checkup before their deportation to Pakistan.

Police have announced a reward of 50,000 rupees ($1,100) for information leading to their capture. (AP)