NINETEEN PRISONERS including some with alleged al-Qaida links have escaped from an Iraqi prison in Kirkuk today, according to a police official.
The official said that the detainees successfully escaped through a small window using ropes made out of blankets.
Police also said that most of the escaped detainees were facing terrorism charges, while the AFP reports that two of the escapees had been sentenced to death. The AFP also reports that the guards appear to have been drugged to facilitate the escape.
A search has been launched to recapture the men.
Kirkuk is situated around 290 km north of Baghdad and is the main oil hub of northern Iraq. The area has seen sporadic insurgent violence and ongoing tensions between Kurd, Arab and Turkomen groups.
- Additional reporting by the AP