ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Over a dozen detainees escaped from a prison in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Saturday, sources and media reports said, with the nearby area cordoned off by the local security forces in efforts to recapture them.
A security source told Kurdistan 24 the total number of runaways consists of 20 individuals, all of whom had been convicted on drug dealing offenses. They were held at the al-Qanat Prison, which is located in eastern Baghdad.
CCTV footage circulated on #Iraq|i social media networks purportedly showing roughly 20 detainees escaping from a detention facility in #Baghdad.— Kurdistan 24 English (@K24English) August 4, 2019
Details: https://t.co/qVatnzILWk pic.twitter.com/BnOLZbfZ0I
According to Iraq’s Alsumaria, who quoted another source, the fugitives had taken advantage of their feeding time.
“The prison includes about 70 detainees, and during the provision of food by the guards, they [the prisoners] pulled and beat them, and 15 people managed to escape in their underwear,” it reported.
“The others tried to escape, but the guards of the center opened fire and managed to secure the prison.”
The security forces have caught three escapees, another source later told Kurdistan 24.
Following the incident, the Ministry of Interior announced it had sacked three police officials, including the Baghdad, al-Rusafa, and Bab al-Sheikh police chiefs.
Late last year, five inmates broke out of a prison in Najaf by climbing through a hole in the facility’s wall, with initial reports confirming the capture of one of the escapees.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany