An Iraqi police officer
An Iraqi police officer watches cars at a checkpoint in Baghdad, July 2011. Iraqi police on Friday apprehended one of 14 prisoners who escaped via a tunnel from a prison in Mosul in north Iraq the day before, while another drowned, a police officer said. © Spencer Platt - AFP/Getty Images/File
An Iraqi police officer
AFP
Last updated: September 3, 2011

Iraqi police capture one of 14 escaped prisoners

Iraqi police on Friday apprehended one of 14 prisoners who escaped via a tunnel from a prison in Mosul in north Iraq the day before, while another drowned, a police officer said.

The prisoner was arrested in the Yaranji area in eastern Mosul, said the Nineveh provincial police officer.

He added that the arrested prisoner said another inmate had drowned in the Tigris river during their escape, leaving 12 of the prisoners still at large.

Colonel Mohammed al-Juburi of Nineveh police said on Thursday that 35 prisoners charged with terrorism-related offences had tried to escape that day, 14 of whom were successful.

"The prisoners dug an 80-metre (yard) tunnel to reach the bank of the (Tigris) river," Nineveh operations chief Lieutenant General Hassan Karim said on Thursday, adding the escapees "received help from inside and outside the prison."

Jailbreaks and prison unrest are relatively common in Iraq.

Officials said on August 6 that four prisoners and a guard were killed in clashes at a prison in the central city of Hilla, during which eight inmates escaped.

Six police and 11 inmates were killed in a Baghdad jail mutiny in May, while 12 suspected Al-Qaeda members escaped from prison in the southern city of Basra in mid-January. At least two of the Basra escapees have been recaptured.

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