vendredi 12 octobre 2012

Iraq al-Qaeda says it masterminded escape

12 October 2012 / REUTERS, BAGHDAD

Iraq's branch of al-Qaeda said it masterminded a jailbreak
in the northern city of Tikrit last month and smuggled 
weapons to inmates, according to a statement posted
on militant websites.

Dozens of prisoners, many of them convicted members
of al-Qaeda on death row, fought their way out of the 
jail, killing 16 members of the security forces in ensuing
clashes. Al-Qaeda issued a statement saying
it planned the mass escape with prisoners, sent them
arms and detonated a car bomb outside the prison gate
to give them a chance to flee, according to SITE, a group
which monitors extremist websites. Iraq's Interior 
Ministry has accused prison officials of complicity in
the jailbreak.

The country is home to a number of Sunni insurgent groups,
including a local branch of al-Qaeda called the Islamic State
of Iraq, which continue to launch attacks to undermine the
Shiite-led government. Security at prisons was beefed up
following the jailbreak and some inmates were transferred
to fortified jails.

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.

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