ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Interior Ministry on Tuesday announced the arrest of another alleged “mastermind” of a recent prison break from a facility in Baghdad.
In early August, 15 detainees escaped from the anti-narcotics trafficking jailhouse, which holds individuals convicted of drug-related crimes, located in the eastern suburbs of the Iraqi capital.
Security forces then launched a massive search for the fugitives and recaptured most of them, one of whom caught as far south as the city of Basra.
The Interior Ministry said in a statement that its security and intelligence services had arrested “fugitive Qahtan Farhan Mohammed Abdullah” in a security operation.
The statement did not say when or where he was detained but did mention that only one escapee remained at large.
Days following the incident, the interior ministry claimed they had already arrested the “mastermind” of the breakout but did not clarify further.
Five officers and eight others suspected of being involved in the incident have been arrested, the Central Court of Inquiry on Terrorism Cases at the Rusafa Court of Appeals announced after the escape made headlines.
The incident at the eastern Baghdad prison, known as al-Qanat, has caused a stir within the country’s security apparatus, with Interior Minister Yassin al-Yasiri immediately dismissing three top police officials: the chiefs of the Baghdad, Rusafa, and Bab al-Sheikh police departments.
Late last year, five inmates broke out of a prison in Najaf by climbing through a hole in the facility’s walls.
Editing by Nadia Riva