Accessibility links

Breaking News

Iraqi Police Recapture 8 of 16 Escaped Al-Qaida Prisoners

Iraqi Police Recapture 8 of 16 Escaped Al-Qaida Prisoners

Iraqi security officials say they have recaptured two more of the 16 al-Qaida members who escaped from a jail in central Iraq a few days ago.

Police say at least eight of the inmates have now been recaptured. Five were detained on Friday and one on Thursday.

The prisoners broke out Wednesday night from a Tikrit jail, after apparently climbing through a small window in a bathroom. Five of the escapees had been sentenced to death.

Following the escape, Iraqi authorities launched a massive search. U.S. military officials say they provided aerial surveillance and search dogs to assist in the manhunt in Tikrit and surrounding areas.

Police closed roads and ordered extra surveillance at Iraq's border with Syria as part of the search.

After the escape, provincial authorities fired the head of a local anti-terrorism department Colonel Mohammed Salih Jbara. Several prison guards were detained for questioning.

Tikrit, a majority Sunni Muslim city, is the hometown of the late, deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.