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  General
Mass prisoner breakout in Iraq leaves 67 casualties
28/09/2012   |   06:38 PM | Gulf News
تصغير الخطالشكل الأساسيتكبير الخط
BAGHDAD, Sept 28 (KUNA) -- At least 67 persons, mainly policemen, were killed or injured as unknown gunmen broke into a jail in downtown Tikrit in central Iraq last night to free large numbers of prisoners.
Five police officers were found beheaded after the mass breakout, a security source in Salah Eddin governorate told KUNA on Friday.
The casualties in uniform are 12 slain policemen, including five senior officers - two colonels, two lt.-colonels and captain, in addition to 30 injured corps while five inmates were killed and 20 others were injured.
Soon after the incident, the army-backed security services rushed to the scene, cordoned off the area and launched a manhunt across the city in a bid to capture the fleeing inmates and gunmen, the sources said under anonymity.
The security services put the number of fleeing prisoners at 150 among them are leaders of the terrorist Al-Qaeda Organization in Iraq and the Islamic State of Iraq who were sentenced to death.
The source added that the security services managed to capture 40 prisoners and control the jail, while Hakem Al-Zameli, a member of the parliamentary committee on security and defense, said only 24 were captured.
The attackers destroyed all police vehicles at the jail, set afire all records there and exchanged fire with the police men in a fierce battle that lasted from 2:00 a.m. until early this morning, Al-Zameli noted.
The mass breakout started as the security services began transferring 40 convicts on the death roll from the jail to a Baghdad jail, he added.
Upon receiving notification of the incident, Lt.-Gen. Rashid Fleih, commander of military operations in the nearby Samerraa city sent large numbers of troops from two brigades of the Golden Division to the area to back up the police forces. (end) mhg.gb KUNA 281838 Sep 12NNNN
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