BAGHDAD — Twenty-two Iraqi suspects facing terrorism charges escaped today from a prison in northern Baghdad after killing a security guard, but most were rearrested later in the day, officials said.
The stunning jailbreak from al-Adela prison triggered a police manhunt backed by helicopters that ended with one of the escaped prisoners dead and 13 rearrested. Eight remain at large.
The prisoners had lured a guard into their cell while his comrades were sleeping, claiming an inmate there was critically ill. They then stabbed him to death, two senior security officials said.
Several guards were later detained and questioned over suspicions they had aided the escape, a prison official said.
Jailbreaks are frequent in Iraq and, as with other security breaches, they have cast doubts on the ability of the authorities to secure the country, mired in sectarian tensions.
Also today, a car bomb went off near a security checkpoint in the western city of Ramadi, killing five policemen and wounding seven others, said police officials.
In a drive-by shooting in western Baghdad, gunmen shot and killed two government employees in their car. And police said a bomb exploded near an out-door market in Madain area, just south of Baghdad, killing one person and wounding four.
In the afternoon, a car bomb exploded inside a fish market in Baghdad’s southeastern Shiite-majority suburb of Nahrwan, killing four and wounding 14, police said.
Medics in nearby hospitals confirmed the casualty figures for all the attacks. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to media.