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Iraqi Minister Says Four 'Terrorist' Detainees Escape Prison


Iraq's justice minister says four Al-Qaeda-linked detainees have escaped from a prison on the outskirts of Baghdad that was handed over by the United States to Iraqi authorities a week ago.

Justice Minister Dara Nuriddin said the four were awaiting trial on terrorism charges. They escaped two days ago.

A prison official in charge of their block has also disappeared.

They were among the 1,500 detainees at the prison, formerly known as Camp Cropper, handed over by the United States to Iraqi authorities on July 15.

Correspondents say their escape is seen as an embarassment to the government as it struggles to prove it is capable of operating without U.S. oversignt.

The U.S. military had no immediate comment.

compiled from agency reports
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