BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s Interior Ministry says a prison break in Saddam Hussein’s hometown in which dozens of al-Qaeda-linked militants escaped was an inside job and that 20 people were killed, including 16 security force members and four inmates.
The ministry’s statement late Friday said there was “clear collusion” between some guards and inmates at the Tasfirat prison in Tikrit, 130 Kilometers (80 miles) north of Baghdad. Weapons were brought into the prison during family visits, and wardens left locks inside the facility open.
Of 303 inmates at the prison, 102 escaped in Friday’s jailbreak. Four were killed and 23 captured, the statement said.
It said the police chief of Salahuddin province where Tikrit is located, Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim al-Khazraji, was sacked.
Authorities earlier reported 12 people dead in the break.