During the evening of September 27, 2012, prisoners at an Iraqi prison in Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein which is about 80 miles north of Baghdad, broke into a storeroom where weapons are kept. They seized the weapons and engaged guards and responding special forces in an hours-long gun battle. Ten guards and two prisoners were killed during the ensuing melee. Thirty-two people were wounded.
The firefight lasted until the next morning when eighty-one prisoners, some of them serving life sentences managed to escape. Many of the prisoners were suspected members of al-Qaida, but it is not known whether the terrorist group engineered the escape.
Qutaiba al-Jubouri, a lawmaker from the Salahuddin province, wherein Tikrit is located, said that 36 of the prisoners were quickly recaptured.
Lawmaker Hakim al Zamili said that the escaping prisoners burned the prison's records, complicating the pursuit of the escapees. A curfew was imposed on Tikrit following the mass escape.
"This is a regrettable security breach," al-Jubouri said, noting that its cause will be investigated, "starting with the commanders of the security forces" who were guarding the prison.
Source: Associated Press
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