8 Jan 2012

Prison tunnel escape reported

7:50 am on 8 January 2012

Eleven prison inmates in north Iraq have dug an 80-metre tunnel and escaped to freedom. They are still at large.

The prisoners were serving a variety of sentences for crimes ranging from drug offences to murder.

Zirga prison governor Sagvan Jameel said no traces were left of how they dug the tunnel.

"We are surprised," he told AFP on Saturday.

Zirga prison is in the northern Kurdish province of Dohuk. It opened in 2008 and held around 600 inmates.

The prison is run by Kurdistan's ministry of labour and social affairs.