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Iraqi security forces recapture two al-Qaida-affiliated escaped prisoners
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13:13, September 27, 2009

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Iraqi security forces said they recaptured two al-Qaida-affiliated escaped prisoners on Saturday, bringing the number of recaptured prisoners to eight out of 16, just three days after they escaped from a prison in Tikrit City, the capital of Salahudin province, a provincial police source said.

The 16 prisoners, including five sentenced to death, affiliated to al-Qaida in Iraq network broke through a ventilation duct in the prison located in central Tikrit on Wednesday night.

The source said that Kahlan Ali Obied, one of the five prisoners sentenced to death for committing more than 30 homicides against Iraqi security forces and civilians, was recaptured on Saturday morning at an area located some 15 km east of Tikrit.

Another prisoner was also recaptured in the day in the city of Samarra, some 45 km south of Tirkit, the source added.

Earlier, the police said that another one of the five prisoners sentenced to death had already been recaptured by the Iraqi police on Thursday morning.

On Friday, the police said they recaptured six prisoners, including two sentenced to death, but later the police said that one of the six captured appeared to be a wanted suspect and not one of the 16 prisoners.

Eight more prisoners, including one sentenced to death, are still at large, the source said.

The 16 prisoners had managed to escape from the Tikrit prison through a ventilation duct, jumping above a 4-meter prison wall, according to earlier police reports.

Iraqi security forces carried out an intensive campaign to recapture them and managed to detain eight of them over the past three days.

In Tikrit, as well as other provincial cities and towns, hundreds of policemen and soldiers were deployed on the city's streets with many carrying out foot patrols, while checkpoints were reinforced and security forces checked cars entering and leaving the city.

The provincial authorities also sacked Colonel Mohammed Salih Jbara, the head of anti-terrorism department of Salahudin province, and detained about 100 prison guards and staff for questioning, the source said.

Tikrit, some 170 km north of Baghdad, is the hometown of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein who was toppled by the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

Source: Xinhua

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