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Curfew Imposed In Iraqi Town After Prisoner Escape

TIKRIT, Iraq -- Police implemented a 24-curfew in former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit following a prison breakout on September 23 by 16 inmates, including five who were linked to Al-Qaeda and are on death row, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) reports.

A police official speaking under condition of anonymity told RFI that one escapee was captured and an investigation is under way.

The official added that any prison officials found to be negligent will be brought to account.

Salahuddin Province council chairman Abdullah Hussein Jabara told RFI that overcrowding in Tikrit's main prison, which is also severely understaffed, makes it difficult to monitor all the inmates.

Jabara explained that due to inadequate security at the prison a new building is under construction that will meet human rights standards and offer effective security.

He said the prisoners will be moved to the new facility when it is completed at the end of the year.

Sheikh Khamis Naji, the head of the provincial tribal council, told RFI that the council representing Salahuddin chiefs has appealed to the public to help authorities capture the escaped prisoners.