Death row inmates in Iraq prison break

Nineteen detainees, including alleged al-Qaeda members, escape after reportedly feeding guards narcotics-laced dates.

    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


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.