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Security forces hunt for escaped prisoners in Iraq

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Iraq
  • Al Qaeda in Iraq
  • Mosul

Baghdad (CNN) -- Security forces hunted for 12 al Qaeda in Iraq members who recently broke out of jail in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, a commander told CNN Saturday.

Thirty-five al Qaeda members charged with terrorism managed to break out of prison on Thursday through a tunnel, said Karim Kudair, commander of operations in Nineveh province.

Twenty-two have been captured and one of them has been found dead, Kudair said. Al Qaeda in Iraq, a predominantly Sunni group, has long had a presence in northern Iraq.

A curfew had been imposed in Mosul as security forces searched for the prisoners. There have been two cases of prison breaks in the city this April.

Journalists Mohammed Lazim, Fattah Mahmood Fattah and Muhaiman Najm contributed to this report