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16 al-Qaida prisoners escape from Tikrit prison in central Iraq

Sixteen al-Qaida-affiliated prisoners, including five sentenced to death, escaped from a prison in Tikrit City, the capital of Salahudin province, a provincial police source said on Thursday.

The 16 prisoners affiliated to al-Qaida in Iraq network broke through a ventilation duct in the prison located in central Tikriton Wednesday evening, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

One of the five prisoners sentenced to death has been re-captured by the Iraqi police on Thursday morning, the source said, noting that the rest were still on the run.

Iraqi authorities in Salahudin took intense security measures in the province, including imposing curfew in Tikrit, blocking main roads and starting searching campaigns, the source added.

The provincial authorities also sacked Colonel Mohammed Salih Jbara, the head of anti-terrorism department of Salahudin province, he said.

Tikrit, some 170 km north of Baghdad, is the hometown of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein who was toppled by the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.


 Source : Xinhua  Editor: Ivy
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