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Five Iraqis escape US military prison

Written by: Staff
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BAGHDAD, May 10 (Reuters) Five suspected insurgents have escaped from a U S military prison in Kurdish northern Iraq, a U S military spokesman today said.

There was no sign of the men, who security sources said were Iraqis, more than 24 hours after Tuesday's overnight breakout.

''They escaped in the early morning hours May 9,'' spokesman Keir-Kevin Curry said. ''The incident is under investigation.'' The remaining inmates were all accounted for.

It was the first such escape from Fort Suse, one of three main prisons for ''security detainees'' suspected or convicted of rebellion, Curry said. He said he was unaware of breakouts from other U S facilities in Iraq, including Abu Ghraib in Baghdad.

On the latest figures, the U.S. military is holding more than 14,000 people in Iraq, many of them from the Sunni minority that is the centre of the insurgency against the new government.

Fort Suse, built by Soviet engineers as a military base in 1977, lies near the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniya. It holds about 1,300 inmates. U.S. personnel have been training Iraqis there to take over guard duties.

U S guards have thwarted escape attempts at other jails, including a bid to tunnel out of Camp Bucca, the biggest such detention centre, close to the southern border with Kuwait.

REUTERS SY HT1715

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