[QODLink]
Middle East
Death row inmates in Iraq prison break
Nineteen detainees, including alleged al-Qaeda members, escape after reportedly feeding guards narcotics-laced dates.
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2012 10:14
An official said policemen had captured one of those who escaped [AFP]

Nineteen detainees, including two men sentenced to death and several alleged al-Qaeda leaders, have escaped from a temporary prison in northern Iraq.

The group reportedly drugged guards and fellow inmates using narcotic-laced dates that put them to sleep before breaking out of al-Tasfirat prison in the city of Kirkuk on Friday.

"They removed the ventilator in the bathroom and used blankets to jump from the opening," Major-General Torhan Abdulrahman Youssef, a deputy police chief, told Reuters news agency.

"Most of them are accused in accordance with article 4 [terrorism]. Investigations are ongoing."

The group was made up of men allegedly belonging to al-Qaeda and Ansar al-Sunna, a Salafist group that has claimed several attacks against US and Iraqi security forces, a security official said.

Police said on Saturday that prison officials and guards had been detained over the incident. The entire staff was being questioned.

One of the escaped inmates had been captured, an official said.

The detention facility is housed inside a fortified police compound in central Kirkuk. Suspects are usually held there while waiting to be tried in court.

"We consider today's incident to be very clear negligence by the security forces," said Abdullah al-Asi, a Kirkuk provincial councillor, alleging the prison break was an inside job.

Last September, 35 prisoners facing terrorism charges escaped via a sewage pipe from a temporary jail in the northern
city of Mosul, an al-Qaeda stronghold which has seen a number of big prison breaks. Iraqi police were able to recapture 21 escapees.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Venezuela's president lacks the charisma and cult of personality maintained by the late Hugo Chavez.
Despite the Geneva deal, anti-government protesters in Ukraine's eastern regions don't intend to leave any time soon.
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
join our mailing list